We Understand Your Child Custody Needs:
Child custody issues are often complicated, emotional and can unnecessarily require a lot of time and expense without the right legal support. Bezler Law Firm’s child custody attorney in Columbia, MO provides expert legal support regarding the custody of your child. While it is best if both parents are mutually supportive of each other regarding the custody of their minor children, we realize this is unfortunately often not the case. Our goal is to help you lessen the emotional trauma your child may experience through a divorce, paternity action, change in custody, or contested custody action by establishing a sound, court-ordered custody arrangement that is in your child’s best interest.
Important facts to know about Missouri child custody laws:
- When determining custody arrangements, the judge presiding over your case may consider some or all of the following factors:
- The wishes of the child (age and sex of the child are also factors)
- Any history of abuse as well as each parent’s physical/ mental health;
- How well the child is adjusting to his or her environment (School, home…)
- The child’s longing to have a relationship with both parents and whether the parents will assist with that;
- The parents’ proposed parenting plan and their motives.
- Only a judge can change or alter a custody order. Parents cannot make a legally binding agreement outside of court. When a change needs to be made to an existing arrangement, a Motion To Modify must be filed with the court.
- If both parties prefer to engage a mediator instead of the stress, time and expense of a long trial, a third party may facilitate communication between the two parties in order to reach an agreement. This agreement is then brought before a judge who can enforce the agreement through a court order.
- Missouri laws show no favoritism toward either a mother or a father with regards to custody. The father’s rights are the same as the mother’s rights. Either parent has the right to petition the court for custody of a child.