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Melissa A. Featherston

Grandparents' rights important to Missouri grandparents

Grandparents' rights are becoming increasingly important as more grandparents are having to step in and take over the parental role. Missouri residents may have read about a recent story in which the mother of a 4-year-old girl took her from school. Thankfully, in situations where children aren't safe in their homes or the children need a place to stay, grandparents' rights may be in place to protect them.

In this particular situation, the paternal grandmother had custody of the young girl. The mother reportedly entered the school and attempted to leave with the child in a vehicle, along with a 25-year-old woman. An unidentified school employee was injured while trying to stop the car. Both women were charged in the incident.

The child's biological mother is now facing multiple charges regarding this incident as well as drug charges. It was reported by the maternal grandmother that there has been an ongoing custody battle between the grandparents and the child's parents. Clearly the court had already ruled at the current time it was in the young girl's best interest to be in the custody of her paternal grandmother.

Any Missouri grandparent that feels their grandchild's well-being is in danger might be best served to look into their rights under state law. Thankfully, there are sometimes laws in place to protect grandparents' rights, whether that means they receive custody or they ask for visitation. Each situation is unique and can usually be best handled by having a strong understanding of the applicable laws for the specific situation.

Source: The Post and Courier, "Mother charged with removing child from school, Westview Primary employee injured," Natalie Caula, May 3, 2013

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