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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

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. 

Son billed by state for child support owed by deceased father

One of the most important jobs in life is parenting one's children. Whether one is the custodial, hands-on parent or the one who provides care through court-ordered child support, both parties are invaluable to the child. There are situations, however, where the support payments are not made in a timely fashion. There may be families in Missouri that are struggling to pay or receive these monies.

Recently, an adult child received an unexpected letter in the mail from the officials in his state. The letter contained a bill in the amount of $83,000 in back support that his father had allegedly never paid. Along with the bill was a notice that a lien had been placed on his property to help satisfy the debt.

How to establish paternity in Missouri

Under Missouri law, if two unmarried people have a child, the biological father is not automatically considered to be the child's legal father. In order for that to happen, paternity must be established. When a man becomes the legal father of his child, he is entitled to custody or visitation, and the child is entitled to financial support, health insurance and other benefits from the father. 

When the child is born, both parents may sign and submit an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity. This is considered the easiest method of ensuring the biological father is legally recognized as the baby's father. Of course, this method requires both the man and the woman to agree that he is the father.

14 parents arrested in recent child support sweep

Paying court-ordered child support is an important thing for parents to keep up on. Not only does paying child support ensure that one's children are adequately being taken care of financially, it can also help to avoid serious legal problems in Missouri or in any other state. This is the message one county government decided to send in a recent sweep operation aimed at parents who were behind on their child support payments.

The county sheriff's department recently conducted a sweep operation in mid-September. The sweep, which had taken place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., was aimed at 45 individuals who currently had outstanding warrants for not paying their child support. The sheriff's department arrested 14 people during the operation. Also, approximately $7,000 had been collected during the sweep.

Man loses medical license over child support arrearage

There are likely as many parenting styles in Missouri as there are parents. Regardless of the approach that a parent may take to raise his or her children, it is important that every parent take responsibility for the emotional and physical well-being of their children. This includes making court-ordered child support payments when applicable. In addition to the potential harm to the child, there can be serious consequences for failing to make such payments, including the loss of professional licenses, as one out-of-state man has recently learned.

Court records indicate that the man's former wife has taken him to court several times over the course of the last nine years, in an attempt to hold him accountable for the missing payments. He reportedly owes over $100,000 in payments. The state has recently taken drastic measures to attempt to force him to pay.

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