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Melissa A. Featherston

Understanding grandparents' rights could help Missouri residents

Grandparents' rights can be a controversial and emotional topic. Some situations are more complicated than others. A recent story involving grandparents' rights could hit close to home for some Missouri grandparents that could be fighting for custody or visitation rights with their grandchildren.

Sadly, a single mother of three young children was gunned down. At the time of the incident, the 20-year-old mother was in the process of regaining custody of her 2-month-old, 3-year-old, and 2-year-old. The maternal grandmother of the three children wanted custody of her grandchildren. According to statements she made, rather than receiving custody, the children were placed in foster care with a friend of the caseworker.

The grandmother said she has not even seen the children since last June and two have already been adopted while one is still in foster care. Department of Children and Family services, DCFS, typically allows visits by grandparents unless abuse or neglect has been involved. DCFS said they are unable to comment on cases, but the grandmother said there is no history of any abuse or neglect in her situation.

When a Missouri grandparent finds themselves in this situation, they may benefit from looking into the applicable state laws. Since every situation is different, it can be important to make sure that grandparents' rights are understood in the appropriate situation. Given that this is an emotional time for all parties involved, knowing what a person can expect may give them some peace when moving forward. Taking the proper action can help ensure that an appropriate outcome is achieved.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, Grandma's nightmare goes on after murder, Mary Mitchell, Dec. 4, 2013

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