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Melissa A. Featherston

Grandparents' rights case grabs attention of Missouri residents

Grandparents' rights are becoming a more common issue in our country. In a world where grandparents have a more active role in raising their grandchildren, this has become an even more important topic. A recent case in which a couple is fighting for grandparents' rights in a neighboring state has drawn attention not only to Missouri residents, but nationwide.

The couple fighting for visitation has had an active role in their granddaughter's life since birth. The grandmother went so far as to retire from her job to help care for the child a few times a week. However, for seven years they have had to rely on a court order to see her. This case is complicated by the fact that the child is in a broken home.

The biological father of the child was adopted by the grandmother when she was married to someone else. In 2006, problems arose as he faced legal trouble and in 2009 the biological mother remarried to a man who adopted the girl. The grandparents did have a court order in place during those years to see the girl, which ultimately caused them to spend time in court to make sure it was enforced. This case has proven to be complicated enough to receive three separate opinions from three different judges. The grandparents' fate is now in the hands of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Any Missouri grandparent faced with not being able to spend time with their grandchildren may want to look into the applicable laws. As more decisions on this important issue are made in court, information and legal precedents will be easier to find. Grandparents' rights are definitely taken into consideration when it is proven they have been a part of the child's life. As always, the court is looking to put the child's best interest first.

Source: tennessean.com, "TN couple's case could strengthen grandparents' visitation rights," Tony Gonzalez, May 29, 2013

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