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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Need to collect unpaid child support? We can help.

When parents divorce or seek to legally establish custody and support orders, it is critical that these arrangements protect the best interests of the children. Additionally, it is also important that parents are faithful to adhere to the terms outlined by the court and refrain from handling disputes without the help of a lawyer. When child support orders are neglected, it is the children who suffer. 

Fortunately, there are legal options for Missouri parents who are waiting for unpaid child support. Although it may seem like a hopeless situation, a parent can be held to account for failing to perform his or her financial obligations to his or her child. If a parent cannot maintain payments, a court modification should be sought through the proper channels.

Options for divorce and child custody

When a Missouri parent is considering divorce, there are various options available regarding the type of divorce that is best for the individual situation. As the divorce rate continues to hold at about 50 percent, it can be useful for all readers to understand the types of divorce. The type of divorce will determine how important factors are decided, such as child custody and property division.

An uncontested divorce is an option for a couple who agrees on all important issues, such as child custody and division of marital property. This agreement can be reached after discussions and negotiation, and this option could save a couple a significant amount of money by avoiding litigation. With the option of mediation, a couple employs the services of a mediation attorney to resolve disputes that exist between the two parties.

Social media may have a negative effect on child custody cases

Social media has become a natural part of life for most people. We use it to blow off steam when our jobs get stressful, brag about our successes and sometimes share intimate details of our lives that we might not reveal if we were face to face. When people in Missouri are going through divorce proceedings and/or child custody litigation, however, some attorneys suggest they keep it all to themselves. Using social media to reveal personal details may negatively impact the case's outcome.

Since social media may be used for evidence in a divorce proceeding, it is not advisable to delete one's accounts. It may be wise to simply avoid using them for a while since one's spouse and his or her attorney may be monitoring such sites for evidence. Some of that evidence may include posts about lavish vacations or purchases that contradict any statements one has made regarding finances. They may also look for evidence of infidelity or changes in employment that may affect a judge's decisions.

Is it possible to share child custody without conflict?

As Missouri parents know, divorce can be hardest on the youngest members of the family. Parents strive to shield their children from unnecessary conflict, but they may fear that it will be impossible to co-parent after the divorce is final. They may be encouraged to know that, despite complicated emotional issues between them, it is possible to effectively and peacefully share child custody.

At the heart of every peaceful post-divorce arrangement is a strategic, thoughtful, carefully drafted child custody order. It should be put together in a way that addresses every pertinent concern, including medical issues, any special needs and a comprehensive visitation schedule. Unique needs and factors should be considered, and a parent may work with his or her lawyer to negotiate these terms during the divorce.

Concerns regarding visitation rights after divorce

Do you have questions and concerns regarding the time you will get to spend with your children after your divorce? This is one of the most common complications that arise during divorce, as Missouri parents can understand how important it is to maintain a strong relationship with their children. Divorce is a complex process, but parents may work specifically to ensure that their visitation rights are protected. 

You may have concerns about how much you will see your children. You may worry that your ex-spouse will want to move, perhaps creating more legal issues and complications regarding a custody plan. From who will pick up the children from school to where they will spend Christmas, you have a right to know your rights and how you can protect precious time with your children. 

Parental rights and frozen embryos: legal battle continues

A Missouri couple's battle over the fate of their frozen embryos has made it's way to the state's Appeals Court. The couple, divorced, is battling over whether the mother has the right to implant two embryos that they had frozen nine years ago. This contentious case is an interesting look at parental rights and how embryonic science could impact custody and support cases. 

The embryos were created using the sperm of the husband, but the couple divorced in 2010. At that time, the embryos apparently were handed over to the wife, a decision which the husband fought hard against. Five years later, a judge ruled that the embryos were a type of marital property, determining that the divorced couple should have joint custody of them. This meant that neither parent could do anything with the embryos unless the other agreed. 

Is shared custody the right child custody arrangement for you?

It is normal for children to have a difficult time when their parents get divorced. Many Missouri parents strive to ensure that their children's lives are disrupted as little as possible during this complicated process, which will in turn impact how child custody arrangements are made. For some families, an equal custody arrangement is a plan that works best for their kids and their emotional well being.

When parents decide to divorce, it could launch a long and litigious battle over who will retain primary custody of the children. Sometimes these court battles are necessary, but it is possible to work alongside a legal ally to negotiate a child custody order that is sustainable long into the future. For some parents, this means sharing parenting time and decision-making authority.

What happens when a child custody order needs to be changed?

Protecting the best interests of the children and one's parental rights does not stop when a divorce is final. Missouri parents, even after working hard to put emotions aside and draft a beneficial parenting plan and child custody order, may find that changes need to be made. Life goes on after divorce, and sometimes life changes dictate the need for a modification to an existing custody order.

One of the most frequently cited reasons for a modification is remarriage. When one or both parents remarry, it can change the dynamics of a home, and what was once workable and practical may no longer be functional. Children adapt to changes, but sometimes, it is in the best interests of all parties involved to rethink the terms of a visitation and parenting schedule.

We can protect your rights during child custody litigation

The end of a marriage is a stressful time for Missouri parents and their children alike. It is particularly complicated when parents are unable to resolve disputes through discussions, mediation and negotiations, instead facing seemingly inevitable child custody litigation. If you are preparing for a lengthy battle over your parental rights or time with your children, you should know that there is no need to face it alone.

The goal of any family court in Missouri is to protect the best interests of the children, even above the desires of the parents. In litigation, a parent must be prepared to present a strong case for his or her preferred outcome, including evidence, records, witness accounts and any other pertinent documentation. Preparation is key, and building a strong case is more likely with the help of an experienced attorney.

The difference between physical child custody and legal custody

Children whose parents divorce often have periods of adjustment through which they must navigate after a settlement is reached. Many times, Missouri children in families of divorce go from living rather routine, stable lifestyles to circumstances that involve ongoing changes and uncertain plans. Many divorce situations lead to continued legal challenges when parents disagree about matters of child custody, visitation, alimony or other family-related issues.

It is crucial that any parent considering litigation regarding custody matters understand the legal terms pertinent to the issue. For instance, many parents are unaware of the differences between physical and legal custody of children. An experienced family law attorney is typically able to provide ongoing guidance and support.

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