Description: Description: Description: Description: 153Description: Description: Description: Description: 102_0350Description: Description: Description: Description: MP900309132[1]


Mental Health Resources

Family Support Division Resources

Community Action Agency Resources





Circuit Court Probate Division Resource

Family Support Division Resource



School Resources

Health Department Resources

Educational Resources for Grandparents




Food and Clothing Assistance

Area Veterinarians




 SECTION 452.402


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:


a.   The parents of the child have filed for dissolution 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


b.   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


c.   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.


d.   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 interest 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 interest of the child.


5. The court may, at 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.





1.  The courts may order an investigation and report concerning custodial arrangements for the child.  The county welfare office, the county juvenile officer, or any other competent person may make the investigation and report.


2.  In preparing his report concerning a child, the investigator may consult any person who may have information about the child and his potential custodial arrangements.  Upon order of the court, the investigator may refer the child to professional personnel for diagnosis.  The investigator may consult with and obtain information from medical psychiatric or other expert persons who have served the child in the past, without obtaining the consent of the parent or the child’s custodian; but the child’s consent must be obtained if he has reached the age of sixteen, unless the court finds that he lacks mental capacity to consent.


3.  At least ten days prior to the hearing, the investigator shall furnish his report to counsel and to any party not represented by counsel.  No one else, including the court, shall be entitled thereto prior to the hearing.  The investigator shall make available to counsel and to any party not represented by counsel an investigator’s file of underlying data and reports, complete texts of diagnostic reports made to the investigator pursuant to the provisions of subsection 2, and the names and addresses of all persons with whom the investigator has consulted.  Any party to the proceeding may call as witnesses the investigator and any person whom the investigator has consulted.