Different forms of child custody

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Friday, September 11, 2015.

In Missouri, divorcing parents are typically given some sort of custody over their children. There are a few different kinds of custody, and each one grants parents different rights and responsibility. Understanding the different kinds of child custody can be hugely beneficial when you and your ex are settling divorce agreements.

There are two broad categories of custody: sole and joint. Sole custody would be granted to one parent, with the other having limited access and, at the same time, limited responsibilities. With joint custody, both parents are given substantial — yet not necessarily equal — rights and responsibilities for the care of the child.

Within sole and joint custody are physical and legal custody. Physical custody dictates where the child lives. Under a joint agreement, they would spend roughly the same amount of time with each parent, and a sole agreement would mean the child spends most of the time at one home. Legal custody dictates who gets to decide how the child is raised, including schooling, religion, health and other matters. Often, this is given as joint custody, giving both parents a voice in the matter.

Missouri allows for a few different child custody arrangements. The first is joint legal and physical, which is usually ideal. If one partner is not fit to parent, it could result in sole legal custody and joint physical custody (or vice versa) or complete sole custody to the other parent. If neither is capable of raising a child, a third party, such as a grandmother or even a foster family, may be granted custody.

If you feel that the custody arrangement is unfair toward you, you may be able to have it modified. A divorce attorney may be able to provide more information on the matter.

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