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Melissa A. Featherston

Child Custody Archives

Understand some basics of child custody in Missouri

Having to work out child custody agreements is something that is difficult for parents. In Missouri, as in other states, the focus of child custody cases is what is in the child's best interests. There are some important things you should know if you are facing a child custody case in Missouri.

Set a good example for your children during child custody cases

We recently discussed two new bills that might improve the child custody process. It is imperative that you fully understand what rights and responsibilities you have if you are facing a child custody issue. The fact of the matter is that your children are counting on both parents to act like adults so that they can have the best life possible.

2 new bills could help child custody case outcomes

Missouri laws regarding child custody are in a state of upheaval lately, and it seems as though the children are truly the ones who are going to benefit from this. Historically, Missouri favored the older model of child custody where there was a breadwinner and a caregiver. Oftentimes, this meant that the mother was the clear winner for child custody.

What can you do to help your child adjust to two homes?

It can be difficult for children to switch between two homes after a divorce because children often crave stability. If your kids are struggling to adjust to two homes, you may have to take a step back and examine the process. Scientific American reports that most children recover rapidly after a divorce. Even if you cannot co-parent, you can change your own routine when you have your children to help them adapt to your home and have a good time when they are with you. Here are some tips to reduce the stress:

Plan now for spring and summer vacations

Parents should start planning now for spring break and summer vacation. If you have a child custody agreement, these breaks might already be covered in the agreement, but you should check it to find out exactly what it says so you can be sure that you follow the terms. For parents who have children in school, these school breaks also pose a unique challenge because the kids aren't in school and will need someone to care for them during the day. Add in the desire to go on vacations and the complexity increases.

Modifying your child custody arrangement after finalization

Although the judge may have declared your custody arrangement complete and your divorce final, there may still be tweaks and adjustments that need to be made from time to time. These are especially common after a major life change when you or your ex-spouse have had your situation altered to the point where one or both of you needs to make adjustments to your custody arrangement. Each state has individual laws on how this should be handled, and Missouri State Courts have detailed the steps that you will need to take.

5 things you can do to make custody exchanges easier

If you are like thousands of other parents across the state, you share custody of your children with an ex-spouse. Shared physical custody is very common, as Missouri child custody laws say that it is generally in the best interests of the children to have frequent, meaningful contact with both parents after divorce. This can put parents in the difficult spot of having to interact with each other more often than they would like.

How can I get custody of my child after paternity is established?

When you know that you are a child's father, you probably want to be as involved as possible in your child's life. It is possible to petition the court for custody of a child once paternity has been legally established. This is done by having the court declare paternity, signing an Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity with the child's mother or filing a Declaration of Paternity.

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