Getting a divorce in Lebanon MO is stressful for anyone, but it can become especially overwhelming you have children. Getting a divorce will mean dividing your household and dividing the time with the children involved. Not surprisingly, child custody is often a top concern for individuals who are contemplating getting a divorce. This week, Deputy & Mizell, LLC is here to shed some light on the way this important factor is determined.
The Child’s Best Interests
In a typical divorce, neither spouse is in charge of deciding how to divide custody of the children. Each parent will have the opportunity to make his or her case, but ultimately the court will be responsible for making this decision. Emotional arguments by the parents will have little weight in court, as the decision will be made with the best child’s best interests in mind.
The court will strive to determine which parent can provide the best environment for the child by evaluating several different factors:
Involvement In The Child’s Life
Children need supportive parents who are involved in their daily lives and activities. If you hope to gain custody of your children, you should make it a point to attend their sporting events and recitals.
The Child’s Preference
If the child is old enough, the courts will allow them to express which parent they would prefer to live with. In some situations, the child’s preference may carry a significant amount of weight in the court’s ultimate decision.
The Parents’ Conduct
The Spouses’ Parenting Styles
The courts are looking for the solution that will best provide for the needs of the child. If you have had a history of neglecting or abusing your children in any way, you may find it incredibly difficult to obtain custody.
The Quality Of The Child’s Education
Proper education is crucial for every child’s mental and emotional development. The courts will evaluate which parent will be able to provide easy access to continued education and be supportive throughout the process.
Different Types of Custody
By evaluating these and other factors, the courts will determine how to assign custody in a divorce. Typically, there are three ways custody may be assigned:
Joint Physical Custody
“Physical custody” refers to the right to have your child live with you. When joint physical custody has been assigned, each parent will be allowed to spend significant amounts of time with the children. This time may be divided evenly or in varying percentages, depending on the specific situation.
Joint Legal Custody
“Legal custody” refers to your right to make legal decisions regarding your child’s upbringing. When joint legal custody has been assigned, both parents have a say in the child’s healthcare, education, and general welfare.
When sole custody has been assigned, only one parent has been given physical and legal custody of the child. While the non-custodial parent may still be allowed to see the child, he/she may not have any legal rights in court.
Your Divorce Attorney Can Help Navigate The Process
Fighting for custody of your child can be scary and overwhelming. We encourage you to contact one of our experienced divorce attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks for guidance navigating your case. The team at our Missouri family law firm will be here for you along every step of the way!
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC
Representing Clients Across the Lake of the Ozarks Region