What exactly is considered “custody?” Child Custody is the physical act of caring for and living with a child. It also includes parental rights, and educational considerations, pertaining to a child. There are many factors which go into a child custody decision. The parents of a child can be either married or divorced. There are also Issues regarding a child’s welfare after his or her parents have gotten divorced.
Child Custody is decided by a judge based on what would be in the best interest of the child. While it doesn’t mandate Missouri judges to grant 50 joint custody times, it indicates that equal custody be awarded to both parents as far as possible. Simply put, 50 joint custody is usually not assured.
If you live in St. Louis, you have many options when it comes to determining custody arrangements. In fact, there is a very high likelihood that you will come across at least one child custody case in your lifetime. Just one issue that has to be addressed is whether or not the judge believes sole legal custody and visitation rights should be awarded to you and/or your spouse. Usually, the judge will go with what is called” Sole Legal Custody“, which means that you have a “physical” residence with your spouse. There are a few things that the court is allowed to do, depending on the circumstances, to keep this type of custody agreement between you and your spouse.
A few cases have gone to court regarding where joint physical custody and visitation rights ended. Usually, the court may order both parties to submit joint custody and visitation schedules to the court, but the schedule is typically pretty simple. The court may either require joint custody, or allow joint custody and only visitation on certain holidays. If joint custody ends, the court will have the ability to re-evaluate the situation again, decide if joint physical custody is the best option for the child.
When sole physical custody is awarded, the child has one primary residence with their mother. Their father will have visitation rights, but not the other one. If the parents are able to work together, they may work out a schedule where the child spends one day with the mother, and one day with their father. Once the child reaches the age of 16, they can be moved from the mother’s house to the father’s house.
Child custody arrangements are never easy, and they certainly are never black and white. You and your ex-spouse will have to do a great deal of research, as well as keep a very good eye on the little details. If you have a good relationship with your former spouse, you may be able to work things out. On the other hand, if you are in a nasty divorce where custody battles are common, the chances of reaching a satisfactory agreement will probably be slim. If all else fails, you will want to consult with an experienced family law attorney.