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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

The benefits of hiring an attorney for a child custody dispute

Missouri parents know that child custody is often one of the most emotional and contentious aspects of a divorce. Even amicable couples often find themselves facing an impasse when it comes to agreeing on the terms of practical and beneficial child custody resolutions. For this reason, it is generally in the best interests of the parents to have the assistance of lawyers who are experienced in complex family law matters. 

For various reasons, many individuals believe that it would be in their best interests to represent themselves in divorce. While this may seem practical, a divorce is a complex legal process, and people often find themselves overwhelmed by the paperwork and court process. As a result, an unrepresented individual may make the mistake of agreeing to a custody arrangement that is not in his or her best interests.

Changing child support orders after a divorce is final

Divorce is a complex time, and it is difficult to accurately estimate financial circumstances months or years after the proceedings are final. Child support, spousal support and other obligations can lead to financial strain, but a Missouri parent is not out of options. There are ways by which a person can seek legal changes to child support orders through a modification request.

The support orders put into place during a divorce may work for a time, but circumstances can change. Jobs change, people remarry or a serious accident can quickly eat through financial resources. Whatever the reason may be, a person has the right to seek a modification to an existing support order. These modifications should accurately reflect the changes in the supporting parent's financial circumstances.

Actress and ex-fiance agree to child custody agreement

Missouri readers may be interested to know that famous actress Uma Thurman and her ex-fiance have finally agreed to a custody agreement after an extended dispute.  The terms of the child custody dispute are not available to the public, but a judge complimented the parents' ability to compromise on an arrangement. The judge also stated that the parents worked together to make their daughter happy.

This agreement comes at the end of a contentious, public custody dispute. Recently, the father sued Ms. Thurman in order to gain more time with their 3-year-old daughter. As this case illustrates, parents may sometimes find it necessary to take legal action in order secure their rightful parenting time. 

Child support can be a complex issue during divorce

Child support can be a significant cause of conflict between two parents going through a divorce in Missouri. One may worry about having to pay too much in child support to the other party, while the other might be concerned about not getting enough or never getting paid at all. In Missouri, there are guidelines that help to dictate the appropriate child support amount.

Child support is designed to cover the costs of raising a child. The payments are usually made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent -- the parent who is caring for the child a majority of the time. They are intended to be made for the benefit of the child or children which the court order covers.

Visitation rights can be sticking point of separation, divorce

Child custody battles can take an emotional toll on both the parents and the children involved. Visitation is one area, in particular, that can spark conflict. A couple of tips may help individuals in Missouri make wise decisions when dealing with matters involving parental visitation rights.

A judge presiding over a divorce or separation may determine that one of the parents is entitled to have reasonable visitation. This means the parents must develop a plan for parental visitation time. This is the preferred method for determining the parents' visitation schedules because it enables both parents to plan around their own schedules and to cooperate with each other.

Parenting plan can be helpful in divorce involving child custody

One of the most unpleasant aspects of a divorce is fighting over who gets to keep the children and how decisions will be made regarding them. Creating parenting plans can be immensely helpful for those going through a divorce involving child custody. A few tips may help individuals in Missouri come up with a practical plan for the entire family.

Parenting plans provide for agreed-upon parenting time schedules. The purpose of a solid plan is to provide some stability in the lives of one's children. This is especially important directly following divorce, when the children have to adjust to divorce-related changes.

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. 

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