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Melissa A. Featherston

Don't set yourself up to lose child custody in Missouri

Child custody cases are emotional and often very important decisions in a child's life. The decision of whether to grant child custody to one parent in Missouri over another can impact the child's development. Fathers often find themselves struggling to gain custody of their children during a divorce.

Many times judges have discretion in how much time a parents can spend with their kids and who gets primary custody. They can look at almost all of the parental behavior and how it is affecting the child's life.

Some ways that father's can help ensure they have a fair chance at getting custody are by avoiding these things:

•· Giving your soon to be ex-wife fuel in the courtroom. Don't yell at her. Getting upset with her besides having a calm discussion could demonstrate to the court that you yell to get your point across.

•· Don't move in with your new girlfriend. Judges usually don't like it when parents move in with new significant others before the divorce is final. This also might be hard for your children to accept right away, and they might not want to live with their dad and his new girlfriend.

•· Don't go public. That doesn't mean keeping your divorce a secret, but don't talk badly about your ex in public. Things have a way of getting back to people.

•· Denying your kids the right to speak with their mother can also cause problems. You want to be sure they can feel free to speak with both parents and have their support whenever they need it.

While each Missouri child custody case is different, these tips are a good starting point. Speaking with an attorney with experience in fathers' rights might be a wise decision.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Ways To Sabotage Child Custody," April 2, 2012 Joseph E. Cordell

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