Third Party Custody
Not every family looks the same. A recent study suggests that more than 2.7 million children in the United States are being raised by a grandparent or other relative and this number has increased by 18% over the last decade. In Missouri, third parties (such as grandparents, step-parents or other relatives) have the statutory right to petition a court for custody of a child.
Missouri law presumes that parents are fit and proper custodians for their children. Therefore, in order to successfully obtain third-party custody, you must prove either that the child’s parents are unwilling, unfit or unable to provide proper care for the child; or, you must show you have a significant, bonded, familial relationship with the child and that it’s in the child’s best interests and welfare that you be awarded custody.
As Missouri families have changed, so have the laws. Whether you’re seeking an award of third-party custody or defending against an action to seek custody of your child, there is no substitute for having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who has handled these types of cases.
We have a proven track record of helping Missouri families navigate the complex issues involved in third-party custody disputes. We’ve prevailed in numerous actions on behalf of clients to obtain third-party custody awards and have also successfully defended parents against baseless claims that do not meet the strict requirements for third-party custody under Missouri law. Whether you’re seeking to resolve a third-party custody dispute through mediation or litigation, we have the experience, knowledge, expertise and empathy to represent you throughout the entire process.