Grandparent rights in Missouri are governed by Missouri Statute 452.402. The court may grant grandparent visitation in a limited number of scenarios, which include when:
- The parents of the child have filed for a dissolution of their marriage…; or
- 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
- 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
- A grandparent is unreasonably denied visitation with the child for a period exceeding ninety days.
However, if the parents of the child are legally married to each other and are living together with the child, there is a rebuttable presumption that the parents know what is in the best interests of the child and a grandparent may not be able to file for visitation under the statute.
The court will look at what is in the best interests of the child. In order to do so, the court may order a home study, appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent what is in the child’s best interests, or consult with the child regarding the child’s wishes.