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Family Law & Divorce

St. Louis Grandparents Rights Attorney

Grandparents Rights

In Missouri, grandparents are allowed reasonable visitation rights if certain requirements are met. These requirements are set forth in a statute, specifically, V.A.M.S. §452.402:

The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to the grandparents when:

(1) The parents of the child have filed for a 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

(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 subsection.

The Court will only grant visitation to Grandparents when it finds such visitation to be in the best interests of the child.

Grandparents who are denied visitation with their grandchildren may also request mediation with “any party who has custody or visitation rights with the minor child.” The mediator can assist grandparents and other parties in reaching an agreement regarding visitation with the child, however, the mediator cannot order visitation, but rather is a neutral party who tries to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement while maintaining the child’s best interests.

If you are a grandparent who has questions about obtaining custody or visitation rights in Missouri, you should contact an attorney to fully explain your rights and the procedure.

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