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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Child custody and support arrangements may require modification

One of the most challenging parts of a divorce in Missouri is child support or child custody. Even if a child support or custody arrangement that is set up during the divorce process seems to be reasonable now, it may not be appropriate years down the road. In this situation, both parties or one of the parties may strive to have their child custody and support arrangements modified.

A child support or custody order can be changed to reflect any changes in the two divorced individuals' financial and personal circumstances. For instance, maybe one parent desires to move within the state or even relocate to a different state. A child might also be having academic or disciplinary problems in the current custody situation.

Addressing matters of paternity in Missouri

Whenever a child is born in Missouri, fathers and mothers have certain rights, protected under the law. Even if a couple who has a child is not married, each parent still has legal rights regarding the upbringing and care of the child. In such cases, actions to establish and uphold paternity rights are sometimes needed, especially where matters of child custody and/or visitation are concerned.

Melissa Featherston is an experienced attorney who is dedicated to helping fathers involved in paternity cases. She is committed to helping fathers who wish to establish legally binding arrangement for child custody, visitation or support. Attorney Featherston is knowledgeable concerning the child custody guidelines of the state, and she can help you protect and exercise your paternal rights.

Avoid common mistakes during a child custody dispute

Missouri readers may have noted the significant number of celebrity divorces that have dominated headlines in the recent weeks. While most couples do not have the income levels of these famous individuals, every marriage that involves children will have to resolve child custody disputes before a divorce can be final. By learning from mistakes often made during some of the high asset divorce proceedings in the news, an individual can pursue a beneficial outcome in his or her own divorce on a reasonable time line. 

Child custody disputes between two parties, famous or not, can be stressful for both the parents and the children. These disputes can stretch out over months, often because parties have unreasonable expectations regarding a custody arrangement. For example, a parent who commonly works 100 hours a week and is not overly involved in the children's day-to-day lives may not be able to get equal parenting time.

Sharing child custody? Avoid these common mistakes after divorce.

Divorce is a difficult time for all parties involved, especially children. Although the end of a marriage will bring a time of adjustment for every member of the family, it is possible to avoid certain mistakes. This effort can make sharing child custody an easier process for everyone. 

One of the most common mistakes made by Missouri couples facing divorce is the failure to plan for life after divorce. It is easy to be consumed by the stress and emotion of the process, but it is most important to make level-headed, carefully considered decisions that protect long-term interests. This applies to child custody, property division and financial support agreements. 

Avoiding emotion-based decisons during child custody disputes

Missouri couples know that divorce can be an emotionally challenging time for both parties. During this difficult time, it is easy to become overwhelmed by frustration, hurt and even anger. However, feelings should never be the basis of important decisions made during divorce. In fact, having a knowledgeable lawyer working on your behalf can guide you through negotiations over child custody, helping you reach a resolution that is suitable for years to come. 

In the state of Missouri, it is the goal of the courts to ensure that children maintain a strong relationship with both parents after divorce. While the courts do try to protect the best interests of the children, parents can keep their custody disputes out of court with the right approach and a willingness to work together. Major decisions about custody, support and visitation should be based on the immediate and long-term needs of the kids.

Mom of musician Rick Ross' child demands more in child support

When two people have a baby together and decide to split up in Missouri, child support is often a source of contention between the pair of individuals. The individual who is awarded child support may be concerned that he or she is not receiving a fair amount. Meanwhile, the person paying child support may fear that he or she is not being treated fairly. A high-profile individual in one out-of-state case may have to pay more in child support due to the demands of his child's mother.

The celebrity involved in this current child custody case is rapper Rick Ross. His child's mother, Tia Kemp, is demanding that he pay more in child support. He currently pays her $1,951 each month. However, Kemp recently filed documents to boost the rate to $2,800 each month for their son, William III.

Defending grandparents' rights in Missouri

Family law encompasses a wide range of matters, including divorce, paternity, financial support and even non-traditional custody arrangements. In Missouri, there are laws specifically pertaining to grandparents' rights for visitation and custody. When cases involve complex custody matters or visitation issues, it is typically beneficial to work with a team that understands how to carefully and thoughtfully navigate these circumstances. 

Missouri courts may grant grandparents reasonable visitation rights in specific situations. These rights may be granted if the grandparents have unreasonably been denied access to the kids or have acted as the guardians of the children in the past. The court may be favorable to the grandparents if one parent of the child is deceased or if a home study has determined that visitation is in the best interests of the children. 

Same-sex marriage can affect child custody and other issues

The legal battles over same-sex marriage may be over, but there are still many issues and details that must be worked through. Following the Supreme Court decision, the governor of Missouri has ordered all state agencies to begin recognizing same-sex marriages, from issuing marriage licenses to changing names on drivers' licenses. Recent rulings will also have an impact on certain family law issues, such as adoption, child custody and divorce. 

In the coming months, courts must work though new challenges of considering how existing laws and protections now apply to same-sex couples. The Missouri governor, by issuing this order of compliance, expects cooperation from every state board and agency. However, it is widely expected that there will be specific issues that must be decided in family law courts because there may be no existing legal precedent.

Keeping kids out of a child custody dispute

When parents divorce, it is normal to have disagreements over parenting time, living arrangements and finances. While this is a stressful time for even the most amicable of divorcing couples, Missouri parents know that it is better for the kids if they can be protected from the tension and stress. One of the easiest ways to protect the emotional well-being of the kids is to refrain from speaking ill of the other parent, even in the midst of a child custody dispute. 

During a divorce, it is easy to lose sight of the long-term benefits of certain decisions. For example, Missouri parents may be tempted to fight over their kids' possessions, namely which parent will house valuable items, but that can be stressful for the kids and unnecessarily lengthen the divorce process. As hard as it may be for certain couples, children always benefit when the parents strive for a peaceful custody situation.

Fathers' rights in Missouri

The fathers' rights movement is relatively new and was born out of the desire of fathers to have a more prominent role in the lives of their children. Fathers' rights cases are a rather complex area of law, but Missouri dads can greatly benefit from understanding what entitlements are granted to them under state law. Fathers have rights even if they were never married to the mother of the child. 

Unmarried parents have the same legal rights as parents who were married at the time their child was born. Fathers cannot be denied their rightful visitation or custody share simply because the other parent does not want to cooperate. At that point, it would be well within the rights of the father to seek a legal resolution to the situation in a Missouri family court.

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