Serving Clients Since 1979
Kansas City Child Custody Lawyers
Child Custody & Visitation in Missouri
Whether you're going through a divorce, navigating a legal separation, or were never married to the other parent of your child, it's essential that you understand the laws and processes involved when it comes to child custody in Missouri. At Krigel & Krigel, we recognize that your child’s well-being is the most important thing; our Kansas City child custody attorneys can help you seek a favorable resolution that protects your rights and the best interests of your child.
If you need help with a child custody matter, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We can answer your questions and provide the personalized, one-on-one guidance you need during this challenging time.
Get in touch with us by calling (816) 578-0077 or by submitting a secure contact form, and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.
Types of Child Custody
Missouri recognizes various types of child custody arrangements. These arrangements may prioritize one parent over the other, but, in general, the state considers joint custody to be in the best interests of the child unless there are extraneous circumstances.
The different types of child custody in Missouri include:
- Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding a child's upbringing, education, healthcare, and religious affiliations. Both parents may share joint legal custody, or one parent may be granted sole legal custody.
- Physical Custody: Physical custody pertains to where the child primarily resides. It can be joint, where the child spends substantial time with both parents, or sole, where the child resides only with one parent.
- Sole Custody: Sole custody is when only one parent has legal and/or physical custody of their child. It is possible to have sole legal custody with joint physical custody, joint legal custody with sole physical custody, and sole legal and physical custody.
- Joint Custody: Joint custody refers to situations in which both parents have some degree of decision-making power and/or physical custody of their child. A court may award joint physical and sole legal custody, joint legal custody and sole physical custody, or joint physical and legal custody depending on the circumstances.
Joint legal custody gives both parents a say in the decision-making process, requiring them to consult with each other. Sole legal custody, on the other hand, grants one parent the authority to make significant decisions regarding the child without consulting the other parent.
Factors Considered in Child Custody Cases
When determining child custody arrangements, the court typically considers several factors to determine what is in the child's best interest.
These factors may include:
- The child's living situation and environment
- The physical and emotional well-being of each parent
- The child's relationship with each parent and siblings
- Each parent's ability to provide for the child's needs
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse
- The child's preferences, depending on their age and maturity
These are just some of the factors that go into the court’s custody decision. Each child custody arrangement is determined according to the unique factors and circumstances of a particular case.
How to File for Child Custody in Missouri
To file for child custody in Missouri, certain requirements must be met.
These requirements typically include the following:
- Residency: Either one or both parents must have been residents of Missouri for at least 90 days before filing for child custody.
- Jurisdiction: The child custody case should be filed in the circuit court of the county where the child resides.
- Forms: Various forms need to be completed and filed, such as the Petition for Child Custody and Support.
For detailed information on the specific forms required and the filing process, reach out to our Kansas City child custody attorneys. Our firm can guide you through this process, providing insights specific to your situation and offering personalized counsel tailored to your and your family’s best interests.
Modifying Child Custody Arrangements in Missouri
Child custody arrangements may need to be modified due to changes in circumstances or the child's best interest. It is possible to request a child custody modification in Missouri, but you must demonstrate certain qualifying factors.
Common reasons for modification include:
- Relocation of a parent
- Changes in the child's needs or preference
- A parent's inability to fulfill their custodial responsibilities
- Significant changes in the parent's lifestyle, such as remarriage or employment changes
To modify a child custody arrangement, you will need to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances and prove that the modification is in the child's best interest. If you wish to request modifications to your existing child custody arrangement, Krigel & Krigel can help. Reach out to our team today to learn more during an initial consultation with one of our Kansas City child custody lawyers.
How Our Child Custody Lawyers Can Help
Navigating child custody matters can be complex and emotionally challenging. If you need assistance, our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at Krigel & Krigel are here to help. With extensive experience in family law, we can guide you through the legal process, advocate for your rights, and work toward the best outcome for you and your child.
Don't hesitate to reach out to Krigel & Krigel for a comprehensive consultation tailored to your specific situation; call (816) 578-0077 or contact us online today.