St. Louis judge: divorcing parents should negotiate custody issues

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Child Custody on Thursday, September 1, 2011

Parents fighting a divorce over child custody and child support might each believe they are completely correct in their positions. But the reality is that if they don’t agree on a proposed parenting plan, a family law judge will decide important issues for them.

“I have to ask, do you want a stranger doing that for you?” Associate Judge Mary Pat Bruntrager asked in an article posted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Wouldn’t it be better to create a realistic one of your own?”

The 12-year veteran of the bench makes a good point. A negotiated parenting plan might not give each parent exactly what they want and what they think they deserve, but it might well give them more of what they want than a judge will give them.

The judge said that she sees divorcing people in those tense, emotionally charged days when their lives are going through upheaval. She says it’s important for people going through divorce to remember that it will get better. The stress will eventually lower and you will become accustomed to a new life.

The Post-Dispatch notes that last year, the nine St. Louis County judges dissolved 3,590 marriages. The number of divorces has dropped more than 10 percent since 2007, when there were 4,028 divorces here.

In addition to those divorces, 21st Judicial Circuit judges also disposed of 1,595 paternity cases and handled nearly a thousand modifications of court orders involving matters such as child custody, child support and visitation.

In all of these difficult matters, the guidance and support of an experienced family law attorney is crucial for parents trying to what’s best for their children.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Judge says parents must talk before, even more after, divorce” by Janice Denham: Aug. 30, 2011

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