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I am a grandparent trying for visitation

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Enriqueindeed, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Enriqueindeed

    Enriqueindeed Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Missouri
    I am unable to afford an attorney. But in my state it says I can represent myself
    How might I go about filing the family access form and what types of evidence do I need to attain. My daughter is a addict and I'm trying to get her to go to rehab. Would it make it easier if she did.
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Getting grandparent visitation is not easy when the parent(s) oppose that visitation. In Missouri, the grandparent has to have been unreasonably denied visitation with the child for a period of at least 60 days AND one of the following circumstances must exist:

    (1) The parents of the child have filed for a dissolution of their marriage. A grandparent shall have the right to intervene in any dissolution action solely on the issue of visitation rights. Grandparents shall also have the right to file a motion to modify the original decree of dissolution to seek visitation rights when visitation has been denied to them;

    (2) One parent of the child is deceased and the surviving parent denies reasonable visitation to a parent of the deceased parent of the child; or

    (3) The child has resided in the grandparent's home for at least six months within the twenty-four month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

    Missouri Revised Statutes section 452.402.

    Obviously, (2) does not apply here since your daughter is not deceased. So that means that either the parents of your grandchildren must be in the process of getting a divorce or have already divorced or that the grandchild had lived in your home for at least 6 months during the two year period immediately before you file the petition.

    So is your daughter divorcing the father or already divorced from the father? Still married to the father? Or never married to the father?

    Did your grandchild live with you in your home for at least 6 months in the last two years?

    If you meet one of those conditions, that gets you in the door to seek visitation. But then you need to prove that granting you visitation is in the best interests of your grandchild. Under a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, if the child's parent(s) are fit parents then generally their determination regarding the visitation will be considered to be in the child's best interests. That presumption can be hard to overcome. So you may have to prove your daughter unfit as a parent to deal with that.

    It would really help you to have a Missouri family law attorney advise you on this and if it appears you might have a good case to succeed, you'd fare better having an attorney represent you. Note that the statute allows the court to award attorney's fees to the prevailing party, so if you win you might get an order for your daughter to pay your legal fees. On the other hand, should you lose she might get an order requiring you to pay her legal fees. So you want to be sure you have a reasonably solid case for visitation before going to court.
     
  3. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Where is the father of the child? How do you think GPV will help your grandchild? How old is the grandchild and what is your relationship with him/her?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Talk to your state's child services and advise the agent/investigator/child service counselor that your daughter is an addict and unable to care for her child.

    Advise child services that you are the grandmother and wish to become an emergency guardian for the minor child (your grandchild) so the children will not have to go into the foster care system.
     
  5. Enriqueindeed

    Enriqueindeed Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Currently the children are in DCFS custody there is still an ongoing investigation. I have tried to contact pro bono attorneys but to no avail. How should I approach DCFS are possible custody or visitation rights. As of right now the state has custody of the children. And both parents are unmarried and both have lost their parental rights to DCFS. Who should I approach. And if possible can you recommend a pro bono attorney in the Saint Francis County area of Missouri. Thank you
     
  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    This site does not provide referrals, and there is no such thing as a pro bono attorney. There are attorneys who will, on a case by case basis, take one pro bono, but the most magnanimous attorney still has to pay his rent and buy groceries and meet payroll and pay for the copying supplies.

    You can call your state Bar Association, your local Legal Aide, or any law schools in your area for referrals.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can contact DCFS and VOLUNTEER to become an emergency foster parent with the goal of keeping the children out of the foster care system.

    DCFS will normally work with grandparents.

    My sister did this for two of her grands and the state agency was most helpful in getting her certified to become an emergency guardian.

    She did that for two years, until her dope addict daughter went through "rehab".

    The children were eventually reunited with their now five year "clean" mother.
     
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  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The case worker at DCFS.
     
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  9. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Contact the case worker and ask what would be required for kinship placement.
     
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  10. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    Please explain the bolded phrase above. Did the State terminate the rights of the parents via the Court?
     
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  11. Enriqueindeed

    Enriqueindeed Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes. We received the paperwork last week. The state terminated both parents rights. The parents were never married. They are in DCF custody.
     
  12. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Did you call and ask about kinship placement? How old are the children?
     
  13. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    If the parents' rights have been terminated and the State now has custody of the children, legally, you are no longer their grandparent.
     

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