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Do grandparents have visitation rights with their grandchildren?

The relationship between a child and his or her grandparent is sometimes a strong one. However, there are times when a parent in Missouri may wish to deny a grandparent access to children. Despite a parent's desire, grandparents are often legally entitled to visitation with their grandchildren in certain circumstances.

All states have laws that allow visitation with grandparents, though those laws vary by state. Courts will also give consideration to a parent's desire for denying visitation as long as their reasons do not stem from a desire to hurt the grandparent. Often, when such a case ends up in court, a parent who presents a proposed plan to the court may be looked upon more favorably.

In some cases, a grandparent may be in a position where he or she must enforce their visitation rights. While the first step in this process is often mediation, the conflict may end up in front of a judge. Ultimately, the court is left to determine what is in the best interests of a child, and the grandparent should be prepared to present evidence of a strong relationship with the child. He or she must also be prepared to swear that potentially dangerous behavior -- such as smoking in the child's presence -- will not occur, or agree to supervised visitation if a disability may limit the grandparent's ability to ensure the child's safety. 

When it comes to raising children, parents are often in a position where they must make difficult decisions. In some cases, it may be necessary to ask a court to weigh in on certain disagreements, such as visitation with grandparents. While mediation may help in some Missouri cases, having an experienced family law attorney providing guidance can help ensure that a parent or grandparent fully understands his or her rights.

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