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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

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.

Technology and the future of child support

Missouri parents know that disagreements over child support can be one of the most troubling aspects of divorce. It is already challenging to divide assets, separate lives and determine child custody, and support disputes can lengthen the process and add undue stress. New technology has recently become available that is intended to reduce these disputes and help parents avoid future legal conflicts over child support.

A woman has developed an application that allows parents to exchange child-related information through a neutral third-party. This will hopefully prevent arguments over court-ordered child support payments and allow parents to easily share expenses for miscellaneous costs, such as child care. The application facilitates payments between parents, and it even allows users to track shared expenses, receipts and payments. 

Seeking a less stressful divorce and child custody arrangement

Divorce tends to bring out long-buried issues, even between the most amicable and cooperative of couples. While there is no such thing as a perfect divorce, Missouri couples can strive to have less stress and complications during the process. There are several specific steps that can be taken to minimize confrontation and unnecessary conflict in child custody discussions.

One thing that can be useful is to maintain communication with the separated partner through email. Speaking face-to-face can allow tension and emotions to rise to the surface, making it hard to effectively discuss certain issues. It can be less stressful to communicate only electronically or through individual legal counsel. 

Child support in Missouri and your rights

As Missouri parents know, it is often complex to navigate the financial issues that must be addressed during a divorce. One of these issues is determining the amount of child support that is owed to the custodial parent. While both parents technically have an obligation to financially support the children, one parent could be ordered to pay a certain amount per month for the needs of the kids. 

Parents who are ordered to pay child support should understand how these amounts are calculated in Missouri. Conversely, the parent who will be receiving these payments should also know how much they are owed every month. The main factor considered when calculating support is the income of both parents, but other factors are taken into account as well. 

Is one type of child custody arrangement better than another?

Missouri parents know that divorce will have an impact on their children, even if both parties are amicable and committed to working through issues together. Parents often struggle with determining which child custody arrangement may be best for their children, wondering if one arrangement is better than another. A new study suggests that joint custody may be ideal for young children. 

After parents separate, even before a divorce is final, children can be impacted by temporary living arrangements. A new study found that children who spend time or live with both parents tend to display fewer problems than those who only live with one. Children who lived in a joint custody situation had fewer headaches, stomach problems, less trouble concentrating and displayed fewer physical symptoms related to psychosomatic issues.