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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Ex-wife objects to live-in girlfriend of three years being

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Ex-wife objects to live-in girlfriend of three years being listed as Emergency Contact on school and medical forms, third in line after myself and her (bio mom and dad). Would prefer grandma who lives an hour away. I counter that we can list girlfriend and her new husband (both in town). Ex-wife says since grandma is blood relative, she has more legal standing should a medical decision need to be made and neither Mom nor Dad can be reached. Ex-wife threatening to take me to mediation if we cannot agree. We live in Missouri.

Is it true that blood related grandma has more legal standing?
Thank you for your question.

If I may ask, does the grandmother OR the live-in girlfriend have a formal power of attorney or guardianship over the child?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Neither grandma, girlfriend or her new husband.
Thank you for your follow-up.

This is really an argument where all of the parties have similar rights. The ex-spouse is correct that in case of you and her passing away, the blood relative would be tapped first as a means of potentially obtaining guardianship, but so far since there is no guardianship in place, the grandmother has no natural legal right to make decisions (that decision is currently reserved only for the parents). But until then whomever the parents place on the forms, even a legal stranger such as the live-in girlfriend, is deemed as valid and as acceptable as the grandmother. So neither of you are incorrect, but the ex-spouse would be correct that the grandmother would have more rights if something permanent happened to both of you and she would then be potentially asked to become a guardian.

Hope that clarifies.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
To clarify, we are only talking about who can or should be listed as an emergency contact in the event neither biological parent can be reached. Guardianship in the event of death is not at issue. Ex-wife would say that authority to make medical decisions is issue. From your reply, I understand that girlfriend, husband and grandma have equal standing under the law. Is that correct?
Thank you for your follow-up.

Yes, that is correct, in terms of being a contact, there is no legal difference.

Good luck.
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