Grandparent’s visitation rights

Grandparents Visitation Rights


452.402. Grandparent's visitation rights granted, when, terminated, when — guardian ad litem appointed, when — attorney fees and costs assessed, when. —

1. The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparents of the child and issue any necessary orders to enforce the decree. The court may grant grandparent visitation when:

(1) The parents of the child have filed for a dissolution(divorce) of their marriage. A grandparent shall have the right to intervene in any dissolution action solely on the issue of visitation rights. Grandparents shall also have the right to file a motion to modify the original decree of dissolution to seek visitation rights when visitation has been denied to them; or

(2) One parent of the child is deceased and the surviving parent denies reasonable visitation to a parent of the deceased parent of the child; or

(3) The child has resided in the grandparent's home for at least six months within the twenty-four month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition; and

(4) A grandparent is unreasonably denied visitation with the child for a period exceeding ninety days. However, if the natural parents are legally married to each other and are living together with the child, a grandparent may not file for visitation pursuant to this subdivision.

2. The court shall determine if the visitation by the grandparent would be in the child's best interest or if it would endanger the child's physical health or impair the child's emotional development. Visitation may only be ordered when the court finds such visitation to be in the best interests of the child. However, when the parents of the child are legally married to each other and are living together with the child, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that such parents know what is in the best interest of the child. The court may order reasonable conditions or restrictions on grandparent visitation.

3. If the court finds it to be in the best interests of the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. The guardian ad litem shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in Missouri. The guardian ad litem may, for the purpose of determining the question of grandparent visitation rights, participate in the proceedings as if such guardian ad litem were a party. The court shall enter judgment allowing a reasonable fee to the guardian ad litem.

4. A home study, as described by section 452.390, may be ordered by the court to assist in determining the best interests of the child.

5. The court may, in its discretion, consult with the child regarding the child's wishes in determining the best interest of the child.

6. The right of a grandparent to maintain visitation rights pursuant to this section may terminate upon the adoption of the child.

7. The court may award reasonable attorneys fees and expenses to the prevailing party.

Grandparent denied visitation, court may order mediation upon written request, purpose — costs — venue — termination of mediation, when. — 

1.  Upon the written request of a grandparent denied visitation with a grandchild, the associate division of the circuit court may order mediation with any party who has custody or visitation rights with the minor child and appoint a mediator.

  2.  As used in this section, "mediation" is the process by which a neutral mediator appointed by the court assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable voluntary and consensual agreement in the best interests of the child as to issues of child care and visitation.  The role of the mediator is to aid the parties in identifying the issues, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of common interest and finding points of agreement.  An agreement reached by the parties shall be based on the decisions of the parties and not the decisions of the mediator.  The agreement reached may resolve all or only some of the disputed issues.

  3.  At any time after the third mediation session, either party may terminate mediation ordered pursuant to this section.

  4.  The costs of the mediation shall be paid by the grandparent requesting the mediation order.

  5.  The venue shall be in the county where the child resides.

If you need assistance or have any questions about Grandparents visitation rights contact Anthony at Moreno Law LLC.