Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 452
Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce, Alimony and Separate Maintenance
Section 452.785

August 28, 2014


Appearance of parties and child.

452.785. 1. The court may order any party to the proceeding who is in this state to appear before the court personally. If the court finds the physical presence of the child to be in the best interest of the child, the court may order that the party who has physical custody of the child to appear physically with the child.

2. If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the court is outside this state, with or without the child, the court may order that a notice given under section 452.762 include a statement directing the party to appear personally with or without the child.

3. If a party to the proceeding who is outside this state is directed to appear under subsection 1 of this section or desires to appear personally before the court with or without the child, the court may require another party to pay to the clerk of the court travel and other necessary expenses of the party so appearing and of the child, if this is just and proper under the circumstances.

4. If the court finds it to be in the best interest of the child that a guardian ad litem be appointed, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. The guardian ad litem so appointed shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Missouri. Disqualification of a guardian ad litem shall be ordered in any legal proceeding under this chapter upon the filing of a written application by any party within ten days of appointment. Each party shall be entitled to one disqualification of a guardian ad litem appointed under this subsection in each proceeding, except a party may be entitled to additional disqualifications of a guardian ad litem for good cause shown. The guardian ad litem may, for the purpose of determining custody of the child only, participate in the proceeding as if such guardian ad litem were a party. The court shall enter judgment allowing a reasonable fee to the guardian ad litem.

5. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding in which child abuse or neglect is alleged.

6. The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child and of any person ordered to appear under this section.

(L. 2009 H.B. 481)


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