Grandparents Rights

Grandparents often inquire about grandparent “rights” when is comes to seeing their grandchildren when the parents divorce or contemplate divorce. A court may grant grandparents “rights” known as grandparent visitation in limited circumstances. Where the parents have filed for divorce, grandparents may intervene solely to have the court award to them a visitation schedule with the grandchildren. A visitation schedule creates a written schedule by which grandparents will be able to spend time with the grandchildren. Grandparents may also initiate a court proceeding to see their grandchildren when one of the parents is deceased and the other parent refuses to let the grandparents visit their grandchild or grandchildren. Grandparents may intervene in a divorce proceeding when their grandchild or grandchildren have been residing with them or when grandparents have been denied access to their grandchildren for more than ninety (90) days. Such grandparent visitation will be ordered only when the court determines such grandparent rights are in the best interest of the child. The courts may impose restrictions or conditions on grandparent rights as the court deems appropriate. Grandparent rights may terminate on the adoption of the child or children.

 

In certain circumstances, grandparents may intervene in divorce proceeding to seek custody of their grandchildren. This type of custody is typically known as “third party” custody and is distinct from grandparent visitation. In such third party custody situations, the grandparent is asserting that the parents are unfit, unable or unsuitable to care for the child or children, and that the grandparents should awarded child custody. This type of child custody may be temporary and later set aside should the parents return to court and prove that he or she is fit, able and suitable to care for the child or children, and that the best interest of the children is served.

 

On other occasions, grandparents may choose to pursue guardianship of the grandchildren as opposed to pursuing third party custody.  Guardianship may be pursued in any number of situations, including those where the parents themselves are young adults and incapable of caring for the child or children for any number of different reasons including but not limited to, lack of finances, lack of shelter, drug abuse, and general neglect.

 

Our family law and divorce lawyers at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City have represented grandparents in any number of situations including fighting for grandparents’ rights and guardianship proceedings. At Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City, we have the experience you need to successfully litigate grandparents’ rights and guardianship actions. Our family lawyers and attorneys also recognize that trial and litigation is not necessarily the goal of every client. Our family law attorneys and divorce lawyers understand that family law issues are emotional and frustrating often causing stress and worry, not only for the adult parties involved but for the children as well. We also encourage mediation and settlement as alternatives to trial.

 

In addition to representing clients in pursuit of grandparent rights and guardianship, our family law attorneys and divorce lawyers provide professional representation for many family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support, legal separation, marital property division, maintenance or spousal support, paternity, temporary hearings, adoption and termination of parental rights, pre-nuptial agreements, post judgment modifications, ex parte orders of adult protection, ex parte order of child protection, retraining orders, contempt and enforcement proceedings.  Our attorneys take the time to fully explain how the court “system” works, detail the law relevant to your case and outline realistic expectations.  You can expect a courteous and knowledgeable staff, access to experience attorneys and fair billing.

 

Our attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City have a reputation for excellence, thorough preparation and innovation. Our family law attorneys and divorce lawyers have diverse experience and complimentary talents to provide you attentive, efficient service. From our office in Jefferson City, Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. attorneys handle family law matters for clients throughout Mid-Missouri, in Jefferson City, Columbia, Eldon, Linn, Fulton, Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Camdenton, Versailles, Boonville, Mexico, Sedalia, Hermann, Vienna, Montgomery City, Waynesville, as well as the counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Morgan, Moniteau, Montgomery, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, and others.

 

Contact our attorneys Scott Hamblin and Erin Wiseman.