On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Monday, April 6, 2015.
Missouri laws pertaining to child custody and visitation rights have evolved over the years to recognize that more is involved in these cases than just deciding where a child will live and how many times a month the noncustodial parent will visit with him or her. The fact that a child’s parents have made a decision to end their relationship does not mean that either of them should have more or less rights and responsibilities in raising the child than should the other.
A person filing a court action involving custody or visitation, including a motion seeking modification of an existing custody or visitation order, must include a parenting plan. A party contesting such a court action must include a parenting plan when filing the answer or the response to the motion to modify.
The purpose of a parenting plan is to compel parents to demonstrate to the court that they have made arrangements to meet the best interests of the child. Parenting plans must cover all aspects of raising a child including meeting the health care, educational and other needs of the child as broken down into the following categories:
- Decision-making: How do the parents propose to share the rights and responsibilities that are part of raising a child?
- Custody and Visitation: What living arrangements are the parents proposing for the child, and how will they ensure that each parent has adequate parenting time with the child?
- Dispute resolution: What will happen if the parents disagree after the court proceedings have ended?
- Child Support: How will the financial requirements of caring for the child be met by the parents?
A Saint Charles, Missouri, family law attorney is probably the best source for legal advice and guidance on child custody, visitation, modification of child support and the preparation of a parenting plan. As informative as this posting might be, it is merely an overview of a complex area of the law and is not offered as a substitute for the skillful guidance of an attorney.