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Child Custody Archives


Three years ago, Governor Jay Nixon signed into law a "Shared Parenting" bill, known as HB 1550, which basically stated that it is in a child's best interests to have both parents in his or her life.

Now there is another that was discussed in the Missouri House and Senate over the past term, but may pick up traction when they reconvene after the summer. This bill gets a lot more specific and actually will mandate courts to start with a presumption that parents should emerge from a divorce or custody case with each side having 50% custody. The presumption is that it is in a child's best interest that the parents will share equal time with the child, however, a judge can look at a bunch of factors and possibly determine that the 50/50 schedule is NOT going to be in a child's best interests. So, if you are going through (or about to go through) custody litigation, how can you best optimize your chances to have 50/50 custody with your "co-parent"?


There are often hard feelings between couples after they split up and their children can get caught in the cross fire.If you are one of those parents, this can make co-parenting extremely difficult and stressful, for both the parents and the kids. I got to sit in on a mediation a social worker was doing with two parents to come up with a custody schedule and I got to see how she went through a specific communication plan with them as well.

Once you go from being a couple to being co-parents, you need to look at it like a business transaction. There is probably no place for emotions to get involved when dealing with the other parent. However, if you are sharing custody, whether it is joint or sole legal custody, communication is very important. And parents should never be communicating about adult issues through the kids.

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.

Having second thoughts about a child custody case?

For Missouri parents, few things are more stressful than the end of a marriage. Not only does divorce represent the end of the bond between a husband and wife, it also brings about a wide range of worries about how parenting time will be divided. It is not uncommon for parents to have second thoughts during a child custody case and to question whether they are making the right move in dividing the family.

A win in Kelly Rutherford's child custody case

Many Missouri readers are familiar with the long-running custody battle between "Gossip Girl" star Kelly Rutherford and her former husband. The pair have been embroiled in a heated fight over the care and custody of their two children, and the international aspects of the child custody case have made the fight difficult on all sides. In a recent hearing, Rutherford achieved a significant win in the case, and her children have been ordered back to the United States.

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