Missouri child custody is also called “custodial control.” It is the lawful right to make many important decisions concerning your child’s well being, which includes those involving medical, religious, educational, and general lifestyle choices. With non-custodial control, you are given the authority to make decisions about your child’s welfare. However, custodial control grants you the legal authority to make decisions for your child in most cases, even if you do not have joint physical custody of your child. For example, if you live in the St. Louis metropolitan area, but have been granted sole physical custody of your child, this means that you will be able to choose which doctor your child sees, what religion he or she is raised in, and what school he or she attends. For more information Missouri child custody, visit www.stlouisdivorcelawyers.net/child-custody/.
Even if you are not represented by an attorney, you may be able to successfully negotiate a better St. Louis child custody arrangement than if you are representing yourself. If you are having a hard time working things out on your own, and would rather have an attorney help you with your custody dispute, you may be interested in learning more about St. Louis divorce law and St. Louis divorce procedures. Many of the same rules and procedures apply to any type of custody dispute, so you should find a St. Louis family lawyer who is familiar with the area. Most family lawyers are knowledgeable about the local laws and have handled cases similar to yours in the past.
Before going to court, it is important for you to obtain as much information as possible about the custody and visitation agreement that you will work out with your ex-spouse. If you are in the St. Louis area, you can seek legal assistance from a family law attorney, but many of them are able to help you out without a fee. In fact, most attorneys offer a free consultation, so you can get your questions answered before making a decision. You should take advantage of this opportunity, even if you do not think you will need the services of an attorney.
Once you have decided if you will hire an attorney or represent yourself, you must also decide what kind of custody and visitation schedule you will have. The federal Family Code requires that a parent must establish a primary caregiver, which means they must be able to provide the physical care and shelter for the child or children. The court may also establish a primary caregiver if it is convinced that the safety and welfare of the child would be substantially impaired if the other parent were removed from the home. In addition to the primary caregiver, the court may establish a secondary caregiver, which means someone who is responsible for the child’s care who is not the primary caregiver. This second person is not necessarily considered to be the same person as the primary caregiver, but must be agreed upon by both parents.
The court will consider all of the circumstances surrounding the case, including the age, nature, desires, needs, preferences and financial circumstances of the children, when deciding if a co-parenting arrangement will be in the best interest of the children. The judge will examine whether the placement will enable the children to maintain their relationship with each parent, as well as their relationship with both parents. If the court decides that joint physical custody is in the best interest of the child, the parents will enter into a Custody Agreement. If the court feels that separating the parents and allowing both parents to remain involved with the children is in the child’s best interest, then a Custody Evaluation will be completed.
A mother’s custody and visitation rights may vary depending on the relationship between the child and her mother, and the state law in which the case is filed. Generally, joint physical custody agreements are more common than sole physical custody arrangements. Regardless of the arrangement, the parents must carefully consider their options and create a plan that meets the needs of the child and their long-term family structure.