St. Louis Legal Child Custody Attorneys
In Missouri, legal custody involves who shall make decisions regarding the health, education and welfare of the child.
Legal custody awards may be either a joint or sole award. Missouri has a preference for joint custody awards. Joint legal custody means both parents jointly make decisions regarding the health, education and welfare of the child – they share information, they consult prior to decisions and collectively agree on a course of action. Sole legal custody means one parent makes the decisions regarding the health, education and welfare of the child, though the sole legal custodian still may have to consult with the other parent in advance of decisions and keep that parent informed about schooling, medical care and activities.
In determining whether to award sole or joint legal custody, the court is guided first by the best interests of the child, but also must consider a list of factors, including the wishes of the parents; the need to assure a continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and which parent would be more likely to facilitate that relationship; the interaction of the child with parents, siblings and other family members; which parent would more likely allow frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent; the child’s adjustment to home, school and community; the mental and physical health of both parents, including any issues of domestic violence; the intention of either parent to relocate; and the wishes of the child, if the child is sufficiently mature to express such wishes.
In all cases, the court must enter a detailed Parenting Plan that will set out the specific duties and conditions of each parent with regard to legal custody.
If you believe that you can co-parent successfully with the children’s other parent, you will want to pursue joint legal custody. If you believe that you cannot co-parent successfully with the children’ other parent, you may wish to pursue sole legal custody. However, understand that when the court has two parents asking for sole legal custody, only one parent will be awarded that right to make decisions.
As you can see from the issues to resolve, the process is not just a short set of simple, self-executing rules, but involves many complex and often difficult questions of proof. Only a skilled and experienced attorney can properly advise you as to your rights with regard to custody and protect those rights in a legal proceeding.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including child custody and visitation. We have handled hundreds of trials before family court judges; if you choose The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., you will have the benefit of a divorce attorney unafraid to go to court, advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to insure the best possible outcome.
Contact The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C.
Send us an email or call us at 314-993-6300 for an initial consultation with one of our experienced St. Louis family law attorneys.