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Melissa A. Featherston

Avoid common mistakes during a child custody dispute

Missouri readers may have noted the significant number of celebrity divorces that have dominated headlines in the recent weeks. While most couples do not have the income levels of these famous individuals, every marriage that involves children will have to resolve child custody disputes before a divorce can be final. By learning from mistakes often made during some of the high asset divorce proceedings in the news, an individual can pursue a beneficial outcome in his or her own divorce on a reasonable time line. 

Child custody disputes between two parties, famous or not, can be stressful for both the parents and the children. These disputes can stretch out over months, often because parties have unreasonable expectations regarding a custody arrangement. For example, a parent who commonly works 100 hours a week and is not overly involved in the children's day-to-day lives may not be able to get equal parenting time.

Any child custody arrangement must protect the best interests of the children involved. If a parent wishes to pursue a specific arrangement, he or she would benefit from seeking the advice and support of an experienced family law lawyer. A legal ally can also help a parent protect his or her rights regarding financial interests and visitation.

A divorce can be a complex time for both celebrities and non-celebrities. The Missouri court system does not always get it right, making it important to work with a legal team that will actively protect individual rights and tenaciously pursue a beneficial resolution to a child custody dispute. A lawyer can also help negotiate the terms of a child custody agreement in order to avoid litigation. 

Source: Parade, "Celebrity Divorce: Attorney Shares the Biggest Mistake Couples Make", Dr. Nancy Berk, Aug. 7, 2015

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