Setting You Down The Right Path

Kansas & Missouri Child Custody Lawyers

If a world where every child lived with their biological mother and father ever existed, it surely does not now. Families have always come in many varieties based on their real circumstances and the actual events of their lives. At the law firm of Barbara E. Hecht, P.C., we accept our clients and their legal issues as they are. We believe that children can gain something meaningful and important from each of their family relationships, biological or not. Our goal is to develop commonsense legal solutions tailored to fit the unique needs and goals of each person we represent.

Over the course of a career spanning more than 50 years, attorney Barbara E. Hecht has successfully helped members of the LGBT community, grandparents, stepparents and others to create and preserve meaningful relationships with the children they love, and we continue that work today. Call or contact us online.

Solutions For Your Family’s Child Custody And Visitation Needs

Married LGBT parents may need to seek legal parentage rights. Unfortunately, the legal recognition of marriage equality did not automatically grant parentage equality. Marriage alone does not confer full parental rights to nonbiological parents, but second-parent adoption rights for same-sex couples in Missouri and Kansas are not yet clear. Without legal recognition as a parent, you may have trouble exercising your ordinary parenting rights, such as seeking medical treatment for your kids or even picking them up from school. We can help establish and protect your rights through adoption or a legal order of parentage.

Unmarried LGBT couples without children also have rights to protect. Whether you are unready for marriage or perfectly happy without it, but you should take steps to protect your rights as a couple. We recommend having a cohabitation agreement and an estate plan drafted early in your relationship. We can help you with either of those needs. Also, it is generally preferable to resolve any disputes through mediation or the collaborative law method rather than leaving the outcome to a court that may not be sensitive to your needs.

Stepparents can adopt their stepchildren if the other biological parent consents or upon the termination of his or her parental rights. This makes you the permanent, legal parent for all purposes.

Grandparents and non-adoptive stepparents can petition for child custody, guardianship or visitation rights only under limited circumstances and will need to demonstrate that granting those rights is in the best interests of the children. Even if the biological parent does not consent to adoption, you may petition for guardianship of a child so you can make vital financial and health decisions on their behalf. Your rights in this area depend on a variety of factors, and we would be happy to answer your questions.

In addition to the work we do on behalf of LGBT parents, grandparents and stepparents, our firm represents extended family members and other third parties who are seeking guardianships of minor children.

Contact Us Now To Discuss Your Family’s Legal Needs

To discuss your child custody or visitation concerns with an experienced lawyer, call one of our three office locations or contact us online today.

Offices in Overland Park and , Kansas, and in Kansas City, Missouri

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