Starkville, MS asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Mississippi

Q: What will be done about these 4 errors on a complaint for grandparents visitation?

1- STEP-grandfather is named as a plaintiff 2- Under section 93-63-3, grandparents can only seek visitation if a court enters a decree or order awarding custody to (1) parent of the child or terminating the parental rights of (1) of the parents of the child or whenever (1) of the parent dies. - I have not been awarded custody by ORDER or DECREE. I have automatic sole custody(unmarried mother) 3- Section II of the complaint states that the father has visitation. However, the father has never filed for visitation. He doesn’t see the child and It’s been almost 1 year since I’ve heard from him. (Father DID sign birth certificate) 4- Non-joinder of necessary parties; Under section 93-16-5, all persons required to be made parties in child custody proceedings or proceedings for the termination of parental rights shall be made parties to any proceeding in which a grandparent..seeks to obtain visitation- The father is not named as a defendant

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1 Lawyer Answer
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Olive Branch, MS
  • Licensed in Mississippi

A: The issue of grandparents’ rights is much more complicated than can be fully discussed here.

1. The step-grandparent can be a named party. Second, you have quoted only a portion of the statute.

2. Visitation rights can also be awarded if the grandparent can show that a meaningful relationship exists between herself and the grandchild and she has provided some form of support.

3. The father’s visitation rights are relevant because the grandparents are unable to visit with the child during those times due to his refusal to exercise those rights.

4. If the court requires the father to be a named party, he can be added after such ruling.

The long and short of it is that nothing you have stated is fatal to a complaint for visitation rights, except that the elements of the statute for such rights must be proven.

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