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Melissa A. Featherston

Tragic death draws attention to grandparents' rights in Missouri

Grandparents' rights are gaining more attention as more children are in broken homes or homes that aren't deemed safe for the children. A recent tragic story involving the death of a young boy is drawing attention to grandparents' rights across the country. Missouri residents may have followed along with the rest of the nation in the unfolding events of this tragedy.

The young boy died as a result of a car crash that happened when he was a passenger in a vehicle his father was driving in another state. The boy had lived with his mother and grandparents in the past. His mother unfortunately passed away earlier in the year, which left his grandparents with emergency temporary custody. However, his father received custody on the weekends even though the grandparents were in the process of seeking full custody.

The grandparents stated that the father was a danger to the boy because of his prior criminal history that included drug charges. Because of their loss, the grandparents are now looking to change the laws, asking the court to look at who is best suited to take care of the child rather than requiring that potential guardians prove that a parent is unfit. They feel it takes too long to prove a parent is unfit and their situation could have been prevented with different laws in place.

Grandparents' rights cases can be complicated, but fighting for them can prove to be necessary in some situations. Any Missouri grandparent looking to receive custody or visitation rights with their grandchild may be best served to look into the current laws. By educating themselves on their rights and being proactive, they may be able to move forward with the knowledge they need to tackle the situation head-on.

Source: kptv.com, "Great-grandparents blame custody laws for child's death," April 24, 2013

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