When a married couple who share children decide to split up, one of the most important and emotionally charged decisions to be made is who will have custody. A divorce can affect your children's future in a number of different ways, especially if they do not initially understand what is going on. Any decisions you make about the custody of your child or children needs to be made with your child's best interest in mind.
At Davis | Pingel, we believe that your child should not have to suffer if you and your spouse decide to get a divorce. The Kansas City child custody attorneys at our firm are caring and compassionate towards the difficult decisions which are made during divorce. Contact our firm today to learn more.
Joint custody refers to a legal situation where both parents share custody, while sole custody means that one parent is responsible. Legal custody determines when which parent will make the important decisions for the child, such as about healthcare or schooling. Physical custody determines who the child will reside with or when shared, the schedule of time that the children will have between the two homes.
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When making a decision about child custody, the court typically chooses between:
When it comes to issues such as custody, support, visitation, etc., the court shall not show any bias towards a parent's gender. Both the father and mother have identical rights, so long as the father has been able to establish paternity. If the couple is not married, then the mother will have sole custody if the father cannot establish paternity.
Missouri statutes say that a child will not have visitation preference until the age of 18. However, the child will be heard by the court as to whom they prefer as the primary custodian.
Judges will always try to make decisions with the child's best interest in mind. The court takes a number of different factors into mind, which may include the child's preference, the relationship between child and parents, and the parent's financial ability. As experienced Kansas City child custody lawyers, our goal is to act as a legal advocate on your behalf and ensure your child's interests are protected.
Additional reading: Guardianship