If you are a parent who is currently going through a divorce or child custody battle, you are probably wondering how child custody is decided in the state of Missouri. The most important factor in determining child custody is what is in the child's best interests. What you want, what your spouse wants and all other factors come second. The two primary types of custody are physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child will reside, with whom and for how long. Legal custody relates to what decision-making powers each parent will have in relation to the child's general upbringing, education, medical care, religious association and more. Most judges will consider the following when making a determination in child custody cases:
- Each parent's wishes
- The proposed parenting plan submitted jointly or by each individual parent
- The relationship each parent has with the child
- Which parent is more likely to allow and encourage continued contact with the other parent
- What affect a change would have on the child's home life, school, relationships with friends and other ties to the community
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- Whether either parent has a history of abuse
- The wishes of the child
Whenever possible, the judge will try to maintain shared custody between both parents, so long as that is in accordance with the child's best interests. No consideration is given to the parent's sex, financial status or age. Both parents are given equal and just consideration.
Cases involving child custody can often become quite volatile. It is not uncommon for both parents to want to maintain the existing relationship they have with their child. Neither wants to give up his or her parental rights and neither wants to compromise. You are far more likely to come up with a parenting plan that is amenable to both parties if you acquire the help of a lawyer who is well-versed in the state's child custody laws.
Worsham Law Firm has provided legal representation to individuals in the Springfield area for many years. They are professional in all their dealings. Clients of their firm are treated with compassion and respect. If you need legal representation in a child custody case, they will work diligently to see that your interests, and those of your child, are well represented throughout the duration of your case. They are committed to being the unwavering advocate you need when fighting to protect your parental rights. To inquire about your case and how they can help, call a Springfield lawyer at their firm now.