Going through a divorce can be a trying time for not only the ex-spouses, but also for everyone else attached to them. In some cases where the two parties are estranged, it can cause a strain on the other family members.
When children are involved, there are particular issues parties may need to address, including the custody and visitation of children. For grandparents seeking to see their grandchildren, there are a few things to know in regard to the law in Missouri.
Grounds for visitation
In short, if parents divorce, or a parent dies, and the other parent does not allow the grandparents to see the grandchildren, the grandparents may file for visitation rights. On the other hand, in cases where both parents are together and decide jointly not to allow the grandparents to see the children, this law may not necessarily apply. Also, if the child ends up in foster care or is adopted by a different family, the grandparents may lose their visitation rights.
By law, grandparents may request visitation rights through the court. In such cases, the court may order mediation between the two parties. As with other civil mediation matters, the mediator facilitates the meeting and tries to aid the parent or guardian and grandparent in coming up with agreeable visitation terms. However, if they are not able to come to an agreement after three mediation sessions, either party may terminate the mediation, and the court then makes the final decision.
The court strives to operate in the best interest of the child. Therefore, it would be to the grandparents' advantage to show a strong, positive relationship with the grandchildren and show how their influence would aid in the growth and well-being of the children.
By understanding and implementing these aspects, grandparents can create strong stances, and hopefully secure visitation with their precious grandchildren. In order to decide the best course of action, it may be helpful to review the related laws in full with a legal professional.