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When can grandparents get visitation rights in Missouri?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Divorce And Family Law

Grandparents in Missouri only want to spoil their grandchildren and give them the best. They are also entitled to visitation in certain situations. It’s important to understand the state’s laws on these matters.

When can grandparents request visitation with their grandchildren?

Under Missouri law, grandparents are legally entitled to request visitation with their grandchildren. There are certain criteria that must be in place for the visitation to be requested, including the following:

  • The child’s parents are married and have filed for divorce or legal separation.
  • One parent died and the other has denied the grandparents the right to see the child.
  • The child’s parents are unmarried and the grandparents have not been allowed to see the child for over 90 days.

The family court always takes into consideration what’s in the best interests of the child when deciding whether grandparents can get visitation rights. It will consider the child being with their biological parents as best unless there’s enough evidence to show that an alternative arrangement would be better. For example, the child’s parents are abusive or have a history of serious drug or alcohol abuse.

What do grandparents have to prove in court?

Grandparents who are seeking visitation rights with their grandchildren must provide sufficient proof that visits with the child would be in the child’s best interests. The judge normally gives preference to the parent’s wishes, but they will consider certain factors when determining grandparents’ visitation. Those things include the child’s age, their relationship with their grandparents, how visitation would affect the child physically or mentally and the history and physical and mental health of the parents and grandparents.

The court may also consider the child’s wishes when deciding on whether the grandparents should be given visitation.