Creve Coeur & O'Fallon, MO Physical Child Custody Attorneys
In Missouri, physical custody involves when and under what conditions the child resides with each parent.
Physical custody awards may be either joint or sole awards. Missouri has a preference for joint custody awards. Joint physical custody awards both parents generally equal time with the minor child. However, just because a court gives the parties joint physical custody does not mean the time must be exactly 50-50. The court may decide it is in the best interests of the child to minimize transitions between households during the school year, for example. In any joint physical custody award, the court still must designate one parent the residential custodian for mailing and educational purposes – an important issue if the child will attend public school. Sole physical custody awards one parent principal time with the minor child, but still must ensure frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent. The parent without sole physical custody has what we call visitation rights rather than physical custody rights.
Physical Child Custody
Divorce & Visitation Rights
In determining whether to award sole or joint physical 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 physical custody, and will set out a specific schedule of temporary physical custody.
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 ensure 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 Creve Coeur & O’Fallon, MO family law attorneys.
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We often receive questions from clients about a commonly used custody plan by trial courts, the “Siegenthaler” schedule. Why, given the very unique nature of