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Melissa A. Featherston

Missouri parents take notice of changing child custody procedures

Child custody decisions can be grueling for the parents as well as the court system. When a couple can't decide such matters on their own, the court system typically steps in by taking different measures to rectify the situation. A recent article regarding potential changes when it comes to child custody may have caught the attention of Missouri readers.


In some previous cases, a child's best interest attorney could be appointed to decide what was best for the children involved when parents weren't able to come to an agreement. A child advocate could also be used as a means to decide. However, this has not been upheld within every court system.

A case in which sole custody was awarded to the mother while the judge stated the couple had 24 hours to come to terms or a best interest attorney would be provided. Upon returning to court, the father argued that it should be the judge's decision to make rather than an attorney's. During an appeals process, the court sided with the father. While these decisions vary state by state, having a child's best interest is sometimes considered one of many options available for parents that can't come to a mutual agreement.


Any Missouri parent involved in a child custody battle could benefit from knowing the applicable state laws. With so many avenues available, a parent can be comforted in knowing there is more than one option as they move forward. This could help them to negotiate arrangements with a future ex-spouse that will benefit the children and avoid the necessity for judges to step in to make child custody and support decisions.


Source: Carroll County Times, "Legal Matters: Custody case brings out ruling on judicial authority," Donna Engle, June 9, 2013

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