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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Collaborative divorce: easing tensions over child custody

The tension of determining child custody can make the divorce process complicated and difficult for all parties. While this is not possible for every situation, Missouri couples may find that collaborative divorce can be a beneficial way to come to amicable solutions. Collaborative divorce can also be a method by which couples determine child custody agreements and more.

Collaborative divorce is a divorce in which a couple benefits from the services of several parties. This can include attorneys, financial advisors, divorce coaches and child specialists. This team offers practical and emotional support during a difficult time, helping a couple make the most beneficial decisions after careful consideration.

Military duties and child custody battles

Military personnel are often deployed for months or years at a time, which can make child custody battles complicated. Even when they are not deployed, training exercises can last for days or weeks and require travel. Military men and women have certain rights granted to them during a divorce and/or child custody battle, which should protect their interests in case of deployment or travel assignments.

Missouri readers may be interested in a case from another state involving a sailor embroiled in a child custody battle with his ex-wife. A judge threatened to imprison the sailor after he failed to show up for a custody hearing. However, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is intended to grant extra time in such situations for those who may be deployed and unable to attend hearings.

Is it possible to work through child custody issues peacefully?

Missouri parents know that every divorce is difficult and every divorcing parent wants the most beneficial child custody agreement. Despite the emotional and financial complexity of a divorce, it is possible to have a divorce that is peaceful and optimal for all parties. When individuals are aware of their rights and a couple is willing to work together on a child custody agreement, the process can be faster and smoother.

As Missouri couples know, working together through mediation may not always be an option. One or both spouses may be completely unwilling to work together on any aspect of the divorce agreement. However, a couple can choose to keep the children as their main priority, even when the situation is contentious. First of all, parents can work with their respective legal teams to ensure that the children are disrupted as little as possible despite the divorce.

Changing a child custody agreement after a divorce

When going through a divorce, Missouri couples know that it can be extremely difficult to work through all of the details of a divorce agreement. For couples with children, it can be very challenging to come to a child custody agreement, no matter how amicable the process may be. However, it can be equally challenging when a child custody agreement needs to be changed after the divorce is finalized.

There are many reasons why an agreement should be changed. Relocation, remarriage, preferred school zones or the request of the child could contribute to the necessity of having an agreement redrafted. In some cases, a child could desire to have a stronger connection with the other parent. What are the options for divorced Missouri parents when a child wishes to live with the other parent?

Complicated child custody case continues for Sherri Shepherd

Missouri readers may be familiar with the child custody battle of Sherri Shepherd, a well-known television personality. Her highly-public divorce has made headlines across the country, mostly because of the intense child custody battle ensuing between her and her ex-spouse. One of the main concerns for the contention is the fact that a surrogate is currently carrying the couple's child, due in July.

The child was conceived before the couple separated, but the egg used was not from Ms. Shepherd. Because the sperm donor is her ex-spouse, a battle has erupted over child custody and which parent should pay and/or receive child support. A recent report claims that Ms. Shepherd is now refusing to accept the child as legally hers, claiming that her husband tricked her into signing the surrogate contract.

Parental rights could be compromised by online activity

Parental rights issues are often the center of contentious divorces, with both parties fighting for their own desired outcome. Divorces usually center on how to divide money and how to handle child custody, but Missouri parents often fail to realize how their online and social media activity can affect the outcome of a case. It is usually beneficial to understand the steps to take to ensure that online activity does not play a role in parental rights.

When parents talk about their divorce or marital issues on Facebook or Twitter, it can be surprising to learn that the other spouse can use that against them during a divorce. In a particularly contentious divorce, it is important to change passwords to all online accounts to prevent any issues. One of the main reasons that this is important is that almost 70 percent of couples share at least one online account or password.

What to do when fathers' rights are challenged by the mother

The fight for fathers' rights has always been a challenge, particularly in family courts where preference may be given to the mother. Missouri fathers who are ready and willing to have a prominent role in the lives of their children may face difficulties when the mother is uncooperative. Often, fathers may find themselves facing legal battles regarding their fathers' rights, simply to secure visitation time with their children.

Some fathers may not be personally involved with their children initially. This could be because of immaturity and a bevy of other reasons. However, when a father is ready to support and know his children, what legal grounds does he have? What options does he have if the mother is blocking his involvement with his children? While it will differ on a case-by-case basis, many Missouri fathers could choose to use legal channels to fight for their custody or visitation rights.

Ensuring that a child custody agreement protects the children

Formulating a beneficial child custody agreement can be difficult and may be one of the more complicated aspects of a divorce. However, Missouri couples may not consider the remote possibility that a family court could decide to separate the children. This may be a rare choice from a court, but it should be noted that a child custody agreement can protect the best interests of the children.

Separating sibling groups is generally not the preference of parents or a family court. However, in rare cases, there are state laws that could actually allow for this to happen in certain circumstances. This may include the death of both parents or the adoption of one child out of foster care. Parents who have concerns about the long-term care of their children can work on a contingency plan to be included in a custody arrangement.

Questions about paternity for NBA player Paul George

The famous NBA player Paul George has found himself in the midst of a paternity battle, as a woman claims that he is the father of her baby. In addition to the question of paternity, the woman claims that Paul George would be an unfit father because of his extensive travel schedule. Missouri readers can infer that this means she is seeking financial support from the basketball player as well as custody.

The woman claims that the basketball player was confirmed to be the father of the baby through a privately administered paternity test. Now the mother is seeking a court-ordered test. She is also seeking sole custody of the child. It is not clear if Mr. George will also fight for visitation and custody rights if it is found that he is the father.

Grandparents' rights: do they exist for Missouri residents?

Grandparents' rights are a complicated issue during a divorce in any state, including in Missouri. Many grandparents wish to apply for custody, because of certain circumstances, or at least have visitation rights to their grandchildren. Because most states do not have legally recognized grandparents' rights, the results of these cases can dramatically vary from one instance to the next.

In some particular cases, grandparents apply for custody out of concern for the health and safety of the grandchildren. However, parents' rights are almost always given priority and many grandparents may not know what steps to take next. In some cases, grandparents have to instigate a legal proceeding to simply have access to their grandchildren after the parents divorce. Missouri grandparents may be wondering how and if they will see their grandchildren and if they have any legal options.

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