St Louis Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
In certain instances, a grandparent can petition a St. Louis family court for visitation rights when the parents are not allowing them to see the child for more than 60 days. A St. Louis grandparent’s rights lawyer can help you exercise your rights under the law. One of our experienced legal advocates can assist you with pursuing visitation rights when the parents of a child are divorced, were never married, or when one of the parents has passed away. In certain instances, grandparents may be better off filing a case for Third Party custody, or oftentimes, asking for both grandparents’ and Third Party custody rights.
When to Petition a Court for Visitation Rights
Ideally, the grandparents of a child and that child’s parents will have a strong relationship, and visitation can happen voluntary. However, situations may arise where the relationship between a grandparent and parent is strained. Regardless of the nature of the relationship, grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren, under specific circumstances.
First, a claimant must prove that they have not visited the child for a period of at least 60 days. Additionally, Missouri Revised Statutes §452.402 states that a grandparent’s petition for custody is only valid if:
- The child’s parents have filed a petition for divorce or annulment,
- One parent is deceased, and the surviving parent is denying reasonable visitation, or
- The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months in the last two years.
A St. Louis grandparents’ custody rights attorney can help evaluate a claimant’s case to determine whether it meets this strict criteria.
Proving the Necessary Elements
A grandparent who files a petition for visitation in a St. Louis family court is responsible for proving their claims in court. This means demonstrating to a judge that it would be in the best interests of the child to see their grandparents.
The court has great discretion when determining if visitation is in the best interests of the child and may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s interests in court. Additionally, a judge can order a home study to determine if the grandparent’s household is fit for children, or they may ask the child if they wish to visit the grandparent.
Ultimately, it falls to a grandparent to prove that they are qualified to receive visitation rights. A grandparent’s rights lawyer in St. Louis can work to convince the courts that the claimant is fit for custody and that visitation would be in the child’s best interests.
Call a St. Louis Grandparents’ Right Attorney Today
Many grandparents find that they lose contact with a grandchild because of a divorce, death in the family, or animosity between parents. State law maintains that grandparents have a right to visit with a child over the objections of a parent. Even so, the burden lies on the grandparent to demonstrate that they are fit to spend time with a child in their home and that visitation is in their best interests.
A St. Louis grandparents’ rights lawyer can help you prove your qualifications for visitation under the law as well as demonstrate that visitation would help improve the child’s wellbeing. Contact a member of our team today to learn more about your options.