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What courts will consider when making child custody decisions

In the wake of a divorce, it can be very difficult for parents to fully comprehend the challenges that their kids will face as their lives are forever changed. In Missouri, parents are allowed to attempt to work out their own child custody plans, but those plans must ultimately serve the best interests of the kids to whom they will apply. If parents cannot for whatever reason settle these matters, courts will step in and create child custody plans for them.

When deciding how to protect a child's interests and thus prevent undue hardship from befalling them in the aftermath of their parents' divorce, courts will consider many important factors. They will assess whether the parents are prepared to take on custodial responsibilities and in their assessments courts will look at the mental and physical wellbeing of the parents. They will evaluate if the child has stronger ties to one parent than the other, and they will consider any allegations or proof of abuse that may exist in the family's history.

Courts will also look for evidence that the parents will support each other in their continued relationships with their shared children. A parent who is negative and does not want to foster the relationship between their ex and their child may face challenges if they wish to secure sole physical custody of their child.

These are only some of the important matters that courts will take into consideration when they are put in the position of making child custody decisions. Parents can have a voice in these matters too, though, and with the help of their legal advocates can provide courts with information on how best to meet the needs of their children.

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