Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Custody Disputes - Children

In custody proceedings involving the visitation rights of grandparents, "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."  Mo. Stat. § 452.402.3. 


In other types of custody proceedings, a Missouri statute authorizes the appointment of a GAL and requires such appointment where abuse is alleged, Mo. Stat. § 452.423, and a court rule requires that all GALs be licensed attorneys. Mo. Standards for Guardians Ad Litem in Juvenile and Family Court Division Matters Standard 1.0.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes