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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Successfully navigating visitation issues during divorce

Visitation issues are some of the most important factors that will be decided during a divorce because they will ultimately determine a permanent parenting schedule. Visitation issues are also an important issue for unmarried parents or those dealing with a paternity dispute. For the interest of resolving these matters in a timely fashion and in a way that is beneficial for the parents and children, it is best to seek assistance from an attorney who is experienced in complex family law issues. 

Visitation issues involve more than simply determining how parenting time will be divided. Drop-off procedures, holidays, frequency of visits and vacations should be factored into parenting plans. Missouri parents have the right to seek a preferred visitation situation. Parenting plans are based on the needs of the children and should allow both parents to have an active role in the children's lives. 

How support arrangements impact post-divorce finances

Support arrangements are some of the most hotly contested issues for divorcing couples. During a divorce, spouses may find that they are unable to come to an agreement over spousal support arrangements, division of marital assets and even child support. Disagreements over money and an unwillingness to compromise may lead to a lengthy legal battle that can be financially and emotionally exhausting. 

It is normal for Missouri couples to have financial concerns during divorces. Couples worried about the monetary impacts of divorce should note that contentious divorces typically take longer and cost more. Even couples who are not amicable can still work together, with the assistance of their respective legal teams, to come to reasonable resolutions on certain divorce issues. This is a legitimate way to ensure that divorces do not become unnecessarily expensive. 

How is child support determined in Missouri?

Determining child support is one of the most important aspects of the divorce process, but it can also be one of the most emotionally challenging. Parents can benefit from a closer understanding of child support laws in Missouri in order to better protect their rights. There is a specific formula that is used to determine child support, as well as guidelines for enforcing support orders after the divorce. 

A child support order will dictate the amount of money that is paid each month, as well as the frequency of payments. Certain guidelines are used to establish the amount of required support. Factors that are considered include the income of each parent, additional financial support, the number of children and any special needs. The support payment should also include assistance for health care and child care. 

Understanding child custody in Missouri

When it comes to child custody, there are many factors that will be considered by Missouri family courts. The welfare and best interests of the child will be the primary concern in any child custody arrangement. It may be useful for parents to understand state laws pertaining to this issue, whether the parents are working together on a custody plan or facing a litigious legal battle. 

In order to determine what is in the best interests of the child, family courts will consider both the custody plan proposed by the parents, if they have one, and the emotional needs of the child. It is important for children to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents after a divorce, if it is possible. Occasionally, a parent may wish to move after a divorce, and any relocation proposals will be factored into a court-approved plan. 

Working on a child custody agreement during a difficult divorce

It is no secret to Missouri parents that working on a child custody agreement during divorce is hard. In addition to the emotional pain that a divorce can bring, it is also difficult when minor children will be affected. For this reason, many parents are exploring better methods of resolving divorce disputes, particularly those centered around a child custody agreement. 

Mediation is one of the methods that is typically used when a couple wants to avoid stressful litigation. Even Missouri couples that are not particularly amicable may be able to work through certain issues out of court with the help of a trained mediator. When parents can negotiate and discuss certain issues, it can protect a family from a public court battle and disrupt the lives of the children as little as possible. 

Moving with your child: How this impacts child custody decrees

After a divorce, a Missouri parent may find that it is necessary to seek a change to a child custody arrangement due to a desired relocation. Personal reasons, financial strains or career-change possibilities may play a role in this decision, but parents may be surprised to find that any change to a child custody decree must go through the proper legal channels. When navigating a complex custody situation, it is best to have assistance from a knowledgeable family law attorney. 

If a Missouri parent has sole or joint custody, there must be ample warning given to the other parent. We work with parents who wish to move and need to follow the proper legal steps, as well as with parents who object to a proposed move. It can be complex to navigate these disagreements, as well as to come to a beneficial conclusion, but we can help. 

Chris Rock divorce heads for child custody battle

Missouri readers have likely heard that Chris Rock, the famous comedian, is currently embroiled in a contentious divorce and child custody battle. Mr. Rock wants shared custody with his wife, to whom he has been married for 19 years. One of the main issues with the child custody battle is the fact that he claims his wife has prevented him from seeing his children. 

Mr. Rock has filed a motion with a family court, asking that he be granted joint physical and legal custody. He claims that he has not been able to see or visit with his 10-year-old or 12-year-old daughter, per the mother's prevention. The mother has recently released a statement through her attorney, denying these claims. 

How can you change a child custody agreement in Missouri?

Once a divorce is final, a child custody agreement determines how and when a child visits with a parent. These agreements are legally binding, and when one parent deviates from the agreement, it can result in tension and further legal complications. Occasionally, circumstances may make it necessary for one parent to seek a modification to a child custody agreement, but it is imperative for an individual to have legal assistance. 

When a modification is needed, Missouri parents may be able to work together on the terms of a new agreement. Whether an agreement will be temporary or permanent, it can be useful to work with a legal professional to negotiate terms. For a major change in a child custody agreement, such as changing which parent gets primary custody, a court order is required. When a modification is possible by agreement, the final agreement for modification must be filed with a court.

Understanding the legal rights of grandparents in Missouri

In certain situations, grandparents may have concerns and questions regarding their legal rights for visitation or custody. In some cases, grandparents may wish to pursue court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren or even seek custody. These cases are complex, making it most beneficial for a grandparent to seek counsel from a legal professional knowledgeable in the legal rights of grandparents in Missouri.

In Missouri, the court will generally defer to the parental preference regarding visitation with the grandparents. Even though the state is considered to be a relatively permissive state, grandparents will face a difficult legal battle if they wish to be granted visitation or custody. Unless certain circumstances exist, the court will show preference to the wishes of the custodial parent. 

Fathers' rights disputes for unmarried couples

Fathers' rights are a complicated legal issue, especially when the mother and father were not married at the time of birth. When one parent disputes paternity, it can create a complex legal firestorm when determining child custody and support. Regardless of the complexity of your situation, our team has the experience needed to successfully handle any fathers' rights issue. 

In some cases, determining paternity is an essential step in determining custody and child support. If you have been requested to pay child support for a child who may not be yours, it is imperative that you seek legal help immediately. An experienced attorney can help protect your interests and assist you with any needed DNA testing. It is important to note that you do not have to dispute the actual biological paternity of a child in order to have a valid paternity concern. Paternity cases also involve Missouri fathers who simply want to have an equal role in a child's life.  

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