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How to get custody of a child in Missouri

How to get custody of a child in MissouriMissouri custody laws provide precise instructions to help a judge make the tough choice about how to take an intact family and establish a new arrangement for separate households.

The state has four types of child custody arrangements – legal custody,  physical custody, joint custody, and sole custody.

Joint custody means that both parents have an equal voice in all aspects of the child’s upbringing. This encompasses education, religious views, health concerns, and the child’s general well-being.

In legal custody, one parent has sole custody of a child and has the right to make important choices regarding the child’s health, education, education, and other things related to the child’s life.

Joint custody means that the child spends time with each parent for varying amounts of time, ranging from a few days a week to a period of half a year with each parent.

The child lives with the parent who has sole physical custody.

Courts are directed that joint custody is preferred in Missouri, but it’s only granted if the court determines that the parents are capable of co-parenting constructively and in the best interests of the child.

How to file for child custody in Missouri

The courts favor parents working out joint custody agreements. Missouri Revised Statutes – Title XXX – 452.310 (8) requires parents to file a parenting plan to the court, either jointly or individually.

If parents disagree in a shared custody arrangement, the court will set up a dispute resolution process, which generally includes the appointment of an attorney or a certified mediator to assist the parents in reaching an agreement.

Deciding Factors of Child Custody

There is no blueprint for assessing a child’s best interests. Before making a judgment, the following factors must be considered, in addition to the child custody laws Missouri courts employ as guidelines:

1. The child’s parents’ requests for custody and the proposed parenting plan presented by both parties.

A Petition for Custody will result in the drafting of a Parenting Plan that the Missouri Courts must accept. The Parenting Plan will include visitation rights and times, support payments and responsibilities, as well as whether or not both parents have legal and physical custody of the child(ren).

2. The child’s parents’ readiness to actively execute their roles as mother and father in meeting the child’s needs.

A qualified attorney can assist you in determining how to demonstrate to the court that you are the more willing and capable parent. Prepare relevant documents and character witnesses to provide to your family law attorney before your meeting.

3. The child’s interactions and interrelationships with parents, siblings, and anybody else who might have a substantial impact on the child’s best interests.

Each individual with whom your child interacts will be taken into consideration by the court.

Make a list of arguments, documentation, and character witnesses to back up your claim that the people in your life have a positive effect on your child. Questions to ponder: Who do you live with? What kind of support system does your child have from their neighbors and close friends?

4. Which parent is more likely to encourage the child to interact with the other parent on a regular, ongoing, and significant basis?

Many parents encounter problems because they try to undermine their child’s bond with the other parent by restricting visitation or failing to disclose information.

A child who has never interacted with a parent may grow up hating the withholding parent for distancing them from the other.  A family law attorney can assist in negotiating a reasonable schedule that is in the child’s best interests.

5. Either parent’s plan to transfer the child’s primary residence, as well as the child’s transition to their new home, school, and neighborhood.

No court wants to further disrupt a child’s life by removing them from their home, familiar environment, and school activities.

6. All parties’ mental and physical health, including a history of abuse of any individuals involved.

If a parent or child has mental or physical health problems, it is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that this evidence is presented carefully in your case.

How to get full custody in Missouri

To file for full custody of a child in Missouri, you must be able submit evidence demonstrating why full custody is in the best interests of the child. This is a high bar as you must show that the other parent poses a risk or is incapable of caring for the child on their own. You must also demonstrate that you are financially, physically, and emotionally capable of supporting the child without depending on the other parent.

Consult a qualified Missouri divorce attorney

If you have any questions about divorce, a highly qualified divorce attorney at Shea Kohl Law, LC, may be able to help. Our team of dedicated legal professionals is knowledgeable about Missouri’s divorce laws and can assist you with all of your family law needs.

Let us evaluate your case by contacting us online or calling us today at (636) 946-9999.

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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.