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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Child custody legislation change affects military parents

Military parents sacrifice many things in order to fulfill their duty to their country, but that does not mean that they have to sacrifice child custody rights when deployed. Recently, a bill was passed prohibiting service members from being stripped of rights while fulfilling military duties. After many years of pushing the bill through various legal channels, military parents are now assured of their child custody rights.

Missouri parents are aware that custody disputes are complex, especially when one parent will be away due to military deployment. These parents should not face a disadvantage because of their service, but rather should be considered equal to the other parent. The recently passed measure is a federal law, which is important to protect parental rights because most states have different custody laws. 

Is it important to establish paternity?

Missouri fathers fighting for child custody are already facing a difficult path, especially when dealing with disputes or concerns over paternity. In these types of complex cases, it is especially important to establish paternity in order to achieve the outcome that is desired. There are many ways that paternity is established, and a father will significantly benefit from the assistance of an attorney experienced in complex family law issues. 

When a child is born to a married couple or to an unmarried couple who sign a paternity acknowledgement form, paternity is assumed. It becomes more difficult when the father is not present at birth or is in contention with the mother. If a father wishes to share custody of a child, but is not on the birth certificate, he may pursue certain options in order to establish his legal rights as a father. 

What you need to know about child support after divorce

Determining and understanding child support obligations is one of the hardest aspects of a divorce. Missouri parents likely have questions regarding the receipt and payment of child support, as well as concerns over how the amount is determined. These concerns and other questions can be answered by a divorce attorney who has a thorough knowledge of Missouri law. 

Once a divorce is final, a parent is not free from his or her financial obligations to a child. In fact, financial support is a legal responsibility that must be met until a child turns 18 or becomes emancipated. The goal of child support is to promote the best interests of the child, as well as to allow the child to live in the same manner as he or she did before the divorce. 

Traditional child custody arrangements are changing

Child custody can be incredibly complex and is one of the hardest aspects of a divorce. Because many couples are not able to work together to come to a suitable custody arrangement, Missouri family courts often have the final say. In many cases, child custody is still determined along traditional lines, but that trend could be changing across the country. 

Traditionally, courts usually grant primary custody to one parent, typically the mother. The other parent is only granted limited visitation as determined by the court. Recently, shared parenting has become more predominant for divorcing couples. It is well known that it is healthy for children to maintain a relationship with both parents after a divorce, which traditional custody arrangements do not necessarily allow. 

Working through visitation issues during the divorce process

Missouri couples going through a divorce understand how emotionally complex the situation may be, especially when facing difficult visitation issues. Parents have many concerns during this difficult process, but some of the most important concerns often regard visitation issues and child custody. Fortunately, these concerns can be alleviated when you have the assistance of an attorney experienced in complex custody ordeals. 

Visitation pertains to parenting time. We understand that you want to spend as much time as possible with your child, and we are committed to protecting the rights of Missouri parents. Through litigation or negotiation, we can help you reach a visitation agreement that protects both your rights and the best interests of your children.

Jason Patric secures huge victory in fathers' rights case

The actor Jason Patric has been locked in a battle with the mother of his child, but he has recently secured a victory for himself and fathers' rights advocates everywhere. The two-year legal battle over fathers' rights came to an end when a judge ruled that Jason is the legal father of the 4-year-old child he has with the child's mother. Missouri readers will note that, after this ruling, Mr. Patric now has custody and visitation rights.

The mother of his child protested his claims that he was the legal father of their young son. The couple had been together and broken up several times, finally resulting in legal gridlock and a lengthy court battle. At this point, however, the couple has the right to work together on details of a parenting arrangement, including custody, visitation and other issues. If they are unable to come to a suitable agreement, the judge will make these decisions on their behalf. 

Child custody: divorce versus separation

Determining child custody is one of the hardest aspects of any divorce. Even when Missouri couples are willing to amicably work together to design a parenting plan, it can still be complicated to work through the details. Child custody and other important factors also play a role in a legal separation. 

A recent poll has revealed that separation is harder than completing a divorce. The survey revealed that women who are separated feel significant stress, possibly due to the financial impact felt by many women when a marriage dissolves. The stress levels of separated women may also be related to the fact that a separation may feel indefinite, whereas a divorce brings a certain finality to the situation. 

Missouri attorney can help with visitation issues

All people who get married generally have one thing in common -- they expect to spend the rest of their life with the person they tie the knot with at the end of the aisle. However, life happens and people change, possibly meaning a couple is no longer compatible. Those who decide that a divorce is in their best interest have many decisions to make, including child custody arrangements if there are children involved. Fortunately, there is help available with visitation issues for those seeking a divorce in Missouri.

In Missouri, family courts typically prefer a joint custody arrangement. Generally, the child will reside primarily with one parent. A parenting plan will help address a parent's concerns about how often they will see the child as well as how the holidays will be spent and drop-off and pick-up procedures.

Judge gets creative in criminal child support case

When a person in Missouri has a child, he or she has many obligations to that child. One of these obligations is financial support, which helps to maintain the child's emotional and physical well-being. A person who fails to fulfil their financial obligation for the benefit of their child can face serious consequences. In some cases, a person can end up facing criminal charges related to missing court-ordered child support payments. For example, in one recent out-of-state case, a man was ordered not to have any more children as part of his probation.

The man pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to failure to pay approximately $100,000 in child support to his four children. In Jan. 2013, a judge ordered that he could not have any more children as part of his probation. If he pays what he is owed, the order will be lifted. A similar ruling by a different judge was overruled in 2004 because it did not include a provision to lift the procreation order.

Child custody litigation filed by father of Fantasia's son

Missouri fans of "American Idol" may remember the winner of the third season, Fantasia Barrino, who is now an R&B singer.  She has a daughter who is now 13 years old.  Recently, the girl's biological father filed child custody litigation.

Barrino and her daughter's father were a couple in high school.  He was reportedly abusive toward the singer and even pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges.  Now, he is asking the court for sole legal and physical custody of Barrino's daughter.  He claims that he could raise their child better than Barrino. 

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