Child Custody Attorneys in St. Louis
Establishing Effective Parenting Plans in St. Louis County
The creation of a child custody arrangement can be challenging for parents. Not only do they have to figure out a plan that aligns with their schedules, but they also must configure a plan that is in their child’s best interests. With the help of a St. Louis child custody attorney from Lake Munro, you and the other parent of your child will have a custody arrangement that fits the unique needs and challenges of your life.
For detailed information on how our St. Louis custody lawyers can help you, call our office today at (314) 648-2186.
Child Custody in St. Louis County – Your Child’s Best Interests
Like most states, Missouri requires child custody plans that are in a child’s best interest. This means that if parents can't agree, a court and/or judge makes decisions what plan would be the most beneficial to the children based on many factors specific to their case.
Common factors a judge considers include, but are not limited to:
- The child’s emotional attachment to both parents
- The child’s wishes (who they would rather spend more time with)
- Each parent’s parenting plan while they have custody of the child
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to care for the child
- Each parent’s mental and physical well-being
- If there is any history of neglect or abuse in the home
Usually, the court favors joint custody to the parents as it is widely considered in a child’s best interest to maintain a relationship with both parents. However, in some cases, it may be more beneficial for one parent to receive sole custody of the child.
Types of Child Custody in Missouri
Child custody can be broken down to two categories: physical and legal.
Physical custody is the time a child spends with their parent. Legal custody is the ability to make important decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions usually concern healthcare, religious affiliations, after-school programs, and other situations that affect a child’s well-being and daily life.
While each custody situation is as unique as the parties involved, there are a few common custody arrangements the judge may grant to the parents.
These custody arrangements include:
- Joint physical and legal custody: This means that both parents can spend time with their child and make important decisions on their behalf.
- Joint physical custody and sole legal custody: This means that both parents can spend time with their child, but only one can legally make decisions on the child’s behalf.
- Sole legal and physical custody: This means that the court believes it would be the most beneficial to the child for one parent to spend time with the child and make decisions on their behalf.
If the judge determines that it would be in the child’s best interests for one parent to receive sole custody of the child, it doesn’t mean the other parent is restricted from maintaining their parent/child relationship. In situations like this, the judge will grant the other parent weekly visitation so they can continue to be present in the child’s life.
Visitation occurs if the other parent is deemed unfit to properly care for the child. For example, if the other parent is struggling with substance abuse, the judge may decide to grant them visitation until they can prove they are able to properly care for the child without supervision.
Child Abuse and Neglect in Missouri
Child abuse or neglect is a serious matter that needs to be reported and investigated. While some individuals such as physicians, teachers, and social workers are mandated reporters and, therefore, required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect, any person can report suspected incidents of abuse or neglect 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit at 1-800-392-3738. While you can non-mandated reporters can call anonymously, individuals reporting child abuse should consider identifying themselves, so the Children’s Division can contact you to complete their investigation. Regardless of which you choose, there are significant safeguards in place to keep the reporter’s identity confidential. Continue reading to learn more about the procedures involved in reporting child abuse in Missouri.
Contact Our St. Louis Child Custody Lawyers Today!
Lake Munro, cares about the well-being of our clients and their families. We will help you ensure you remain an active presence in your child’s life.