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Grandparent's rights upheld in child custody case

Missouri grandparents seeking child custody can face an uphill battle. But the battle can have a happy ending. Take, for instance, the story of two grandparents from another state.

The couple took care of their two grandchildren after authorities charged their son-in-law with child abuse and their daughter with child neglect. The charges stemmed from the daughter bringing her then 4-month-old son to a children's hospital, which revealed that the boy had several skull fractures and bleeding in his brain -- some old, some new.

Neither parent reportedly knew the cause of the injuries, but after authorities determined that the boy had suffered severe abuse, they took the boy and gave him to the daughter's grandparents.

After that, the daughter divorced the son-in-law, who decided he wanted his custodial rights upheld. To get him back, the ex-son-in-law completed his state's requirements and received full custody just before Christmas. The daughter received supervised visitation rights.

Dismayed that the state would take the boy away and give him back to a convicted abuser, the grandparents challenged custody. Following years of wrangling, a court recently agreed, awarding the grandparents full custody of their two grandchildren.

As the story highlights, while the legal system favors biological parents that does not mean that Missouri grandparents should give up. In cases of abuse or neglect, Missouri provides avenues for concerned grandparents to have the current custodian's parental rights terminated in favor of a grandparent.

Missouri grandparents who would like to learn more about grandparent adoption may benefit from talking with an experienced family law attorney. That is especially true in cases of abuse or neglect.

Source: The Tennessean, "Court grants custody to Heggie," Colleen Creamer, July 25, 2013

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