Who decides who gets custody of the children after divorce?

Missouri parents know that divorce can be extremely difficult on the youngest members of the family. As a parent facing the divorce process, it is likely that one of your main concerns is the protection of your children and allowing them to have a strong and stable future. It can be helpful to understand how child custody works and who makes these important decisions.

Parents have the right to maintain a strong relationship with their children after divorce. It is important for you to pursue a final order that respects your rights as a parent while allowing your kids to have as much continuity of lifestyle as possible. Before you make any important custody-related decisions, you will find it beneficial to seek a full understanding of your legal rights and options.

Determining child custody after divorce

The decisions made during divorce will impact your child for years to come. It is crucial to be thoughtful and intentional as allowing temporary emotions to motivate your decisions can lead to conflict, complication and other problems in the future. Determinations regarding custody rights, visitation schedules and other factors affecting child custody will happen one of two ways:

  • In court, a family law judge will make a decision regarding child custody and visitation based on evidence presented by both sides. This happens when parents cannot reach a reasonable conclusion through discussions, dispute resolution and negotiations.
  • Parents can decide on the details of their custody arrangement out of court by working with each other to develop a parenting plan that will work for the whole family.

Ultimately, the purpose of any custody order is the benefit of the children. Whether you and the other parent are drafting a uniquely tailored plan for your specific family needs or you are fighting for your desired outcome in court, you have the right to fight for your interests and those of your kids.

Know your options before you decide

Before you make any decisions regarding your custody schedule or visitation with your kids, you would be wise to seek an understanding of all of the options available to you. When you know your choices, you can make better decisions for you and your kids.

It can be difficult to understand how custody works and what to expect from the divorce process, but you can start by learning more about your rights and the various legal options you can consider.

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