Child Custody Lawyers Springfield, MO
Help Navigating Child Custody Matters in Missouri
Child custody is a legal term that refers to the legal and practical relationship between a parent and their child or children. In Springfield, MO, child custody cases are governed by the Missouri Revised Statutes and are typically handled in the Family Court Division of the Circuit Court. Child custody cases can be challenging and emotionally charged, and it is essential to understand the legal process involved.
At Neale & Newman, our child custody lawyers in Springfield, MO have extensive experience in the field of family law, and we are here to help you through the process. We understand the nuances of family law and the importance of ensuring that the best interests of your child are taken into consideration when making decisions about custody.
Types of Custody in Missouri
There are two types of child custody in Springfield, MO: legal custody and physical custody.
- Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make important decisions regarding the child's welfare, such as healthcare, education, and religious upbringing.
- Physical custody refers to where the child resides and with whom they spend their time. Parents can have joint legal and physical custody, or one parent may have sole legal and physical custody.
Determining Custody in MO
When parents separate or divorce, the court will determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. In the state of Missouri, child custody is determined through an evaluation process conducted by either a family court or child protection unit. The process involves taking an in-depth look at various factors, including:
- the child's emotional and physical needs
- the parents' ability to provide for those needs
- the physical and mental health of both parents
- the parents' living situations
- the child's relationship with each parent
- any history of abuse or neglect
The court may also consider the child's preference if the child is of sufficient age and maturity to express a preference.
Ultimately, this evaluation helps determine with which parent the child will ultimately reside permanently or if shared parenting is most suitable.
How to Prove a Parent Unfit in Missouri
When it comes to child custody battles, one of the most difficult and emotionally draining situations is trying to prove that one of the parents is unfit to have custody. In Missouri, there are several factors that can contribute to a parent being deemed unfit. These can include:
- History of substance abuse
- History of child neglect or abuse
- History of criminal activity
- A parent suffering from mental illness (preventing them from caring for the child)
- Unwillingness of parents to work together for a child's best interest
However, proving that a parent is unfit is not an easy task. It requires a lot of evidence and a strong case. It's essential to gather documentation, witnesses, and any other evidence that supports your claim. Additionally, working with an experienced Springfield child custody attorney can help ensure that your case is presented in the best possible light. Ultimately, the process of proving a parent unfit can be challenging, but it is essential to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected.
Parenting Plans in Missouri
A parenting plan in Missouri is a written document that outlines how parents will share the responsibilities and make decisions regarding their children after a divorce or separation.
What Should Be Included in a Missouri Parenting Plan?
When creating a parenting plan in Missouri, it is important to consider the best interests of the child and the unique situation of your family. A Missouri parenting plan usually includes details about the following:
- Legal custody
- Physical custody
- Education and extracurricular activity decisions
- Health care decisions / costs
- Child care decisions / costs
- Visitation schedules
- Holiday schedules
- Communication between parents
- child support
It is advisable to work with a Springfield child custody lawyer or mediator to create a parenting plan that is specific to your family's circumstances and meets Missouri's requirements.
Options for Child Custody Mediation
In Missouri, parents may choose to mediate their child custody disputes. Mediation is a non-adversarial process where a neutral third party helps the parents reach an agreement on child custody. If the parents cannot reach an agreement through mediation, the court will schedule a hearing to make a determination on child custody.
Help Navigating Missouri Child Custody
It is essential to have a competent and experienced attorney in Springfield, MO, to assist you with child custody matters. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and obligations, prepare and file necessary documents, and represent you in court. If you are involved in a child custody dispute, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Child custody cases in Springfield, MO, are complex and require the guidance of an experienced attorney. It is crucial to prioritize the best interests of the child and work toward a resolution that benefits them. With the help of our knowledgeable Springfield child custody attorneys, you can navigate the legal process and achieve a favorable outcome for yourself and your child.
Brian K. Asberry Partner
Melissa Bade Partner
Patrick Baird Partner
Michael J. DeArmon Partner
C. Nathan Dunville Partner
Bryan D. Fisher Partner
Anne Sallee Mason Partner
Patrick J. Platter Partner
Judson B. Poppen Partner
W. Bradley Risby Partner
Nathan Rogers Attorney
Richard L. Schnake Partner
Gus M. Scott Attorney
Lillian "Lilly" Sweeney Attorney
Kate Trokey-Harris Partner
Paul G. White Partner
Daniel K. Wooten Managing Partner
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