Child Custody cases are very complex. In fact, they are among the most complicated of all child custody cases. For this reason, it is important to seek professional legal help when seeking a St. Louis child custody case.
Although it doesn’t mandate Missouri judges to give 50 custody time to each parent, it often suggests that both equal custody be awarded as much as possible. Simply put, 50 joint custody is usually not guaranteed. However, the court can grant either joint or sole custody, and it’s also perfectly possible that one parent receives more time with the child as compared to the other, according to the best interests of the child.
When determining custody, the court considers what is best for the children. While each parent has a significant influence on the child, the court does consider several factors. Factors like the age of the child, the standard of living of each parent, the environment where the child lives, and the ability of each parent to provide for the physical needs of the child must all be considered. Often times, the court will attempt to compensate for these hardships by assigning joint physical custody to one of the parents. On the other hand, the court will award sole physical custody if the parents are not able to meet the child care needs of the child.
In addition to assigning joint physical custody (wherein both parents participate in making decisions about the child), the court will also consider what would be best for each parent. For example, the court may believe that an older parent is capable of providing the necessary supervision to a younger sibling. As a result, they will grant physical custody to the older parent (who is also usually the more experienced parent). On the other hand, they may believe that a younger sibling would benefit from more frequent visits with their mother, so they will allow the boyfriend of the younger sister to visit with them. All of these situations are based on the individual needs of the child.
As mentioned above, the Missouri court may also consider the preferences of each parent when determining custody. The court can order joint physical custody if it finds that either parent can meet the child custody needs of the child (i.e., they are capable of raising the child properly). However, the court may refuse to grant custody to one parent based on the preference of that parent if they believe that it would be in the best interest of the child (the court generally pays close attention to what the child needs). This “best interest” standard is what typically determines who gets custody.
In addition to considering the preferences of each parent, the court must also look at how the parents interact and if the relationship can develop into a healthy environment for the child. Often, family law courts will consider the history of each parent’s relationships with their children before granting custody. Also, family law courts look at how the child was raised and any developmental problems the child might have had during the years of their life with their current parents. All of these factors play a role in the ultimate outcome of your child custody laws.