Jump to Navigation

St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Joint custody now the norm in Missouri family courts

Federal statistics indicate that children who are raised by only one parent are at a higher risk of not completing high school, going to prison, developing addictions or psychological issues, and even committing suicide. Fortunately, a new Missouri law making joint custody and shared parenting the norm rather than sole custody came into effect on August 28. This followed a 2015 150,000-people study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that showed the benefits of shared parenting when it comes to the mental health of children after divorce.

Parents will no longer enter into the divorce court where one parent is already the winner and the other one the loser who has to fight for parenting time. In the future, parents will partake in the legal proceedings related to child custody as equals. Together they can draft a workable parenting plan giving both parents as close to equal time as possible.

New laws change child custody in Missouri

A new law in the state of Missouri will have a significant impact on how judges outline parenting arrangements and visitation matters during divorce cases. This new law is intended to push judges to rule for shared parenting between both parents instead of granting child custody to just one parent. This new law comes with the support of fathers who wish for more equitable custody arrangements.

In many cases, the mother is granted primary custody, while the dad may only get a few days per month with his kids. This is quite common, despite the fact that studies have proved that children benefit when they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents. This new law seeks to remedy this issue.

Child custody and the season of divorce

As Missouri readers know, there are certain times of the year when divorce filings peak, often just after the holidays. Recently released research seems to suggest that divorce filings not only spike after the holiday season is complete but also after a time of year when many people go on vacation. It is important for families to consider how the season in which a divorce takes place could impact child custody arrangements.

People often wait to file for divorce after the holidays are over. This is frequently motivated out of concern for other family members, namely the children, easing the difficulty of an already stressful and busy season. Data proves that this is the case for the summer as well, with many couples choosing to take one last family vacation. With many Americans traveling in the month of July, the month of August sees an up tick in divorce.

Child custody and the mental and emotional health of kids

A divorce can have a major impact on children, and protecting the well being of the youngest members of the family is often the main concern of most Missouri families. It is important to be attuned to the emotional and mental needs of the children during and after a divorce. While these are serious concerns, parents can be encouraged to know that there are things that they can do to help their children adjust to new child custody arrangements.

Children often feel discouraged by the sudden change in their homes when they must move or one parent makes separate living arrangements. This can greatly disturb their routine, and even the news of an impending divorce can result in behavioral changes and mood swings, depending on the age of the child. Studies show that it can take years for children to completely adjust to a divorce, but it can help significantly when they are allowed to maintain a strong relationship with both parents.

Establishing paternity in Missouri: Why and how?

There are numerous reasons at to why establishing parentage is important to parents in Missouri. Establishing paternity is typical done for custodial or monetary reasons. Mothers often request paternity testing in order to seek child support, while potential fathers may wish to submit to testing in order to gain custody or visitation rights.

The state of Missouri believes that every child should be able to have relationships with both of his or her parents and that parents who desire relationships with their children should be given the opportunity. Unfortunately, if paternity is not established, this does not always happen. What does one have to do to legally establish paternity?

We can help you protect your visitation rights

When an unmarried couple or divorcing couple cannot agree on parenting time or custody, these disagreements can continue to plague a Missouri family long after the case has been closed or the divorce is final. Despite custody and visitation orders drafted between the two parents, it may be necessary to take definitive steps to protect your visitation rights. We know that child custody and visitation can be complicated, and we can help you understand your options.

Despite the best of intentions to protect a child from the disagreements between two parents, one parent may refuse to cooperate with the terms of a custody order. This may mean he or she denies your rightful visitation time, denying you access with your children. Children benefit when they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents, and it is important to protect their well being by ensuring that you have regular visitation time, even if you do not have custody.

New laws could impact child custody arrangements

The governor of Missouri has recently signed a bill into law that could impact parents and their parenting time after divorce. This new law could equalize how child custody is determined in a divorce and may be a step in the right direction toward equalizing custody rights between fathers and mothers. This new law would require that custody arrangements be based on the best interests of the child, not the gender of the parent.

In the past, custody was often automatically awarded to the mother. Mothers will no longer receive preferential treatment in court, but will be on equal footing with the father. Experts and research studies agree that children benefit when they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents after a divorce. It is hoped that these new laws will promote arrangements that are sustainable and beneficial.

Details of new child custody laws in Missouri

With the recent passage of a new law in Missouri, parents may now have a better chance of securing equal parenting after a divorce. The child custody law, which has been signed by the governor, is said to bring comprehensive change to the way that courts determine child custody, only giving sole custody to one parent in rare circumstances. Lawmakers have applauded this passage, stating that the results will benefit both children and parents.

The law is designed to promote equal child custody between divorced parents. Studies have long shown that children benefit when they have regular access to both parents after a divorce. Equal or shared custody can provide a certain continuity of lifestyle that could help children navigate this time of transition.

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.

Tell Us About Your Situation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.