St. Louis Visitation Attorney
Helping Exercise Your Parental Rights in Missouri
One of the most contentious aspects of any divorce is the matter of child custody. Both parents deserve the chance to maintain a meaningful relationship with their child, even if they are no longer together, which is why the family courts in Missouri will usually favor a shared custody arrangement. In some cases, however, the court may find that it would be in the best interest of the child to award sole physical custody to just one parent. Even so, the other parent may still be entitled to reasonable visitation rights.
If your former spouse or the other parent of your child is trying to keep you from spending time with your child, it is important to understand that you have rights. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney in St. Louis, you can present your case before a judge and fight to maintain a relationship with your child. The Buxner Law Firm has been representing clients in a wide range of family law matters for more than two decades. Find out how we can assist you by calling our office to set up a free, in-office, 30-minute consultation.
When could the court keep a parent from visiting?
According to Missouri Revised Statute § 452.400.1, a parent who has not been granted custody of their child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless it is determined that any such visitation would endanger the child’s physical or emotional well-being. This means that you may be prohibited from seeing your child if you have been convicted of a serious sexual offense, an act of domestic violence or neglect.
The court will not grant visitation if you have been convicted of:
- Rape or statutory rape
- Sodomy or statutory sodomy
- Child molestation
- Sexual misconduct with a child
- Abuse or neglect of a child
- Enticement of a child
- Sexual trafficking of a child
The family courts in Missouri have the power to prohibit a parent from visiting their child, and they can even modify an existing visitation agreement if they reasonably believe that the child may be in danger, but the decision to do so is not taken lightly. The court can only restrict a parent’s visitation rights if it finds that any such visitation would endanger the child’s physical health or emotional development.
Can one parent prevent visitation?
Under the law, raising a child is seen as a shared effort between both parents. This means that both parties will be responsible for supporting their child financially—even if one parent does not maintain custody or visitation rights. If one parent chooses not to pay child support after being ordered to do so by the court, they could face serious legal consequences. However, this does not give the other parent the right to prohibit visitation with the child. These are two separate matters that must be handled independently.
Do grandparents have any rights to visitation?
In Missouri, grandparents may be afforded limited visitation rights under certain circumstances; however, it is important to understand that these rights are not guaranteed in the same way that a parent’s rights would be. The court would only grant visitation to grandparents if it was in the child’s best interest.
The court may only grant visitation rights to grandparents if:
- The natural parents of the child have filed for divorce
- One parent is deceased and the surviving parent is denying visitation
- The child resided in the grandparent’s home for at least six months
- The grandparents have been denied visitation for 90 days or longer
- Unless the natural parents are legally married
- The child has been adopted by a stepparent or other blood relative
If you believe that you are entitled to visitation rights as a grandparent, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with the family law attorneys at our firm. We have experience representing parents and grandparents alike, so we encourage you to give us a call as soon as possible. We are ready to fight for you.
What if the other parent won’t let me see my child?
If you have been granted visitation rights by the court, the other parent is legally required to make your child available for these visits at predetermined times. This court order is a legally enforceable contract, which means that both sides must uphold their side of the agreement. If the other parent fails to abide by the court order, you would have the right to bring this matter to the attention of the court. With the help of a St. Louis divorce lawyer from The Buxner Law Firm, you can request that the order be enforced by the court.
The Buxner Law Firm Is Here to Help – Give Us a Call
Here at The Buxner Law Firm, we represent parents on both sides of the aisle. Whether you need help enforcing your visitation rights or you want to modify the terms of an existing visitation agreement, you can find the help that you need at our firm. We have more than 20 years of family law experience and a long track record of favorable case results, so you can trust that your future will be in capable hands when you come to us for help. Don’t wait to schedule your free, in-office, 30-minute consultation with our firm!
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