Child custody lawyer in Missouri discuss how family courts resolve custody issues
St. Louis, MO- It is not unusual for Missouri’s divorcing couples to struggle with child custody and have difficulties deciding on a final custody arrangement. In such cases, the task of determining child custody is left to Missouri’s family courts. USAttorneys will discuss how family courts help couples resolve their child custody issues.
When a family court is asked to step in and settle a custody issue, the primary concern is the well-being of the couple’s child or children. Judges want to be certain that make their decisions based on what is in the best interest of a child.
How the best interest of a child is determined?
When trying to evaluate what is in the best interest of the child, a family court judge will have numerous factors to consider; we’ll discuss them below:
What is child’s age? The age of a child or children is a factor if they are an infant or toddler. In that case, courts like to award custody to the mother because they are better suited to care for a child until he or she gets older.
Is there a pattern of abuse or neglect by one parent? If a parent has a pattern of abusing a child, the family court is unlikely to award them custody unless they can prove they are no longer a danger. In some cases, abusive parents can be awarded supervised visitation.
What are the living conditions of each parent? Since a child’s well-being is the court’s top priority, they want to make certain each parent can provide a stable living environment. If each parent can provide a safe environment, a joint custody arrangement will be the likely income. However, if one parent has roommates or moves periodically, a family court may be hesitant to give that parent custody. The spouse who keeps possession of the marital home has a better chance of being granted primary physical custody.
Which parent is more financially and emotionally stable? A child needs support and a stable home during their parent’s divorce, so family courts look at each spouse’s earning potential to decide in custody arrangements and awards of child support.
What does the child want? If a child is over age 12, Missouri’s family courts will ask them who they want to live with and will honor their wishes in most cases.
We’ve discussed just a few factors that have a bearing on how child custody is awarded. We recommend you speak with a child custody lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri and allow them to explain what to expect from family court. Call and set up a consultation with an attorney today.