What Do Missouri Courts Consider in Child Custody Matters?

Parents often have the arduous task of deciding over custody of their children. While some of custody and divorce cases, especially uncontested divorces can be resolved quickly and smoothly, some may need to be turned over to the courts to have a judge decide.

It is expected that every parent provides their child with the emotional and financial support the child needs to for their overall health and well-being, regardless of who has custody. The courts decree who the custodial parent will be that is the parent whom the child will reside with the most. The noncustodial parent provides the duty of support by providing child support payments.

The Best Interests of the Child

Missouri law advises that judges take every factor in the marriage into consideration, including the personal, emotional, and financial capacities of each parent. Ultimately, this will determine what is right for the child, or in the child’s “best interests.” This is determined primarily to calculate the noncustodial parent’s child support obligations.

These are the following considerations:

  • The number of children
  • Daycare and educational costs
  • The child’s financial, emotional, and health care needs
  • Whether or not the child has special needs
  • The parent’s financial resources and earning capacity
  • The location of either parent
  • Maintaining the child’s standard of living while the parents were married
  • Whether or not one or the other parent has a history of drug abuse or domestic violence

Child support and child custody are undoubtedly contested issues. Later on down the line, you may need to ask the courts to consider modifying the terms or even filing to receive past due child support payments. Understandably, all of these can be confusing areas of the law, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to reach out to our St. Charles family law attorney to discuss your particular circumstances.

We Offer Sound Legal Assistance for Divorce Cases

Immediately after filing for divorce, you and your spouse will be asked to compromise on a variety of issues. We know that it can be difficult to make these decisions because they seem so formal and final. However, you do not have to feel confined by the laws. We can work on a flexible and strategic plan that suits your overall needs as well as your child’s needs.

Discuss your case with us during your first appointment! Please call Smith Law Offices, LLC at (636) 400-1177.

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