A look at child custody laws in Missouri

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Friday, August 7, 2015.

Determining child custody is generally considered the toughest part of the divorce process. Each parent may want greater custody than the other, or one parent may worry that the other, who is unfit to raise a child, may be granted too much visitation. Missouri has laws that dictate child custody arrangements that are helpful in this negotiation process.

First, it is important to know what the different forms of custody are. Physical custody, as the name implies, refers to where the child lives. Legal custody refers to making decisions about the child’s upbringing. This includes their education, religious affiliation, health care and other factors. Parents can be awarded sole or joint custody. These categories are rather self explanatory.

In Missouri, parents can be given a combination of sole and joint, physical and legal custody. Parents may both be given joint physical and legal custody. Or, they may be given joint legal or physical custody, but one parent may be given sole custody in one aspect. If one parent is unfit to raise a child, the other may be given sole custody on both accounts. Finally, if neither is fit to parent, a third party may be given custody. Above all, the best interests of the child are taken into consideration.

In pursuit of the best interests of the child, a child custody agreement that is not equitable to one of the parents may be struck. With the help of a divorce law attorney, it may be possible to petition the courts for a child custody modification.

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