St. Louis Child Custody Lawyer
Call our firm today for guidance!
The St. Louis child custody attorneys at Pedano, O’Shea, McGavic
& Hogenmiller, LLC know how important your children are to you and
are here to tirelessly fight for the custody plan that is best for your
situation. In Missouri, the courts decide custody by looking at what is
in the best interests of the child. Every judge has a different perspective
as to what type of custody arrangement is in children’s best interests,
and that is why it is important to know your audience.
How is custody determined in Missouri?
Missouri courts evaluate all factors relevant to custody such as:
- The parent’s wishes as expressed by a parenting plan
- Child’s need for frequent and meaningful relationships with both parents
- Which parent is more likely to allow contact with the other parent
- Child’s adjustment to the their home, school, and community
- Mental and physical health of the parents including any history of abuse
- The wishes of the child
There are two custody categories that are addressed by the Court: physical
custody and legal custody. When you work with our firm, we can help you
compile a compelling case for your custody plan and fight to ensure your
interests are taken into account.
Contact us today if you are looking for affordable and compassionate legal representation!
What is physical custody?
When one parent has physical custody, it means the child will live with
them physically, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, and so on. There
is a presumption in Missouri that both parents should have significant,
meaningful contact with the child. When this is given, it is called
joint physical custody. This does not necessarily mean 50/50 custody, or an equal number of overnights
with each parent, but does provide substantial periods of time.
However, there are situations where it is appropriate for a child to spend
a majority of the time with one parent, giving the other parent only reasonable
visitation times. This type of custody is called
sole physical custody.
What is legal custody?
The parent or parents with legal custody are given the power to make decisions
for the child. Just like physical custody, the court will award either
joint or sole legal custody over the child. In many cases, the court will
seek to give equal legally custody on the presumption that both parents
can communicate effectively and co-parent with each other. When parents
can do this, they will have equal access to school and medical records
and will each have veto power in decision making. However, in unique cases,
effective co-parenting is impossible and sole legal custody is appropriate.
Call on Pedano, O’Shea, McGavic & Hogenmiller, LLC for your free consultation!