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Melissa A. Featherston

Grandparents' rights a concern to Missouri grandparents

Grandparents' rights are often something that can be overlooked. Missouri grandparents can find themselves feeling helpless if their child doesn't have custody of their grandchild or if they don't have a close relationship with their child. While often taking on responsibility for the children, the court system doesn't always recognize grandparents' rights.

A recent case from a southeastern state involving a grandmother whose daughter is in jail has drawn attention from other grandparents in a similar situation. Her daughter is missing and has been for over a year. The daughter's ex-fiancé has custody her twin grandchildren therefore she doesn't get to see them often. Although she has a full time job, she is now spending all of her free time working on changing the laws of her state to allow grandparents more rights.

While laws concerning this delicate family law issue vary state-to-state, grandparents are typically overlooked. Even if they want to have a relationship with their grandchildren, any decision regarding the amount of time and the depth of the relationship is typically left to the parents of the child. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, further action might be the best course of action.

Missouri grandparents that want more time with or custody of their grandchildren should look into their grandparents' rights, particularly with respect to visitation rights. Investigating the laws and regulations concerning this topic can help best determine the appropriate steps to take to get the process started. While this can be a difficult time for the grandparent as well as the grandchild, things can be made easier when you understand the laws and help available.

Source: wogx.com, "Michelle Parker's mom pushing lawmakers for grandparents' rights," April 12, 2013

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