My child wants to live with me. Will the judge listen my child’s opinion?

While most children would likely prefer to stay out of any conflict regarding child custody and parenting time, there are certainly times where a child expresses a strong desire regarding the parenting time arrangement. In Missouri, the court is required to consider as a factor in determining child custody the “unobstructed input of a child, free of coercion and manipulation, as to the child's custodial arrangement.” This may be done through appointment of a Guardian ad Litem for the child, or in some cases, the Judge may interview the child in chambers without the parents present. In Kansas, the [...]

2024-07-11T14:51:01+00:00July 11th, 2024|Categories: Child Custody, Uncategorized|

Substance Abuse and Divorce

Substance abuse is often a major factor in the breakup of marriages, and clients need to know how the presence of substance abuse will affect their case. When it comes to the division of assets and the financial aspects of a divorce, substance abuse typically won’t affect the Court’s ruling unless the spouse with substance abuse issues has used significant marital funds to support the addiction. On the other hand, substance abuse can have a substantial impact on the issues of child custody and parenting time. While simply drinking alcohol is not prohibited in normal parenting plans, if there [...]

2023-12-14T16:56:58+00:00December 14th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody|

New Revision to Missouri Custody Statute

Missouri recently revised § 452.375 R.S. Mo., which is the statute that lists the factors a judge must consider when making child custody and parenting time decisions. The biggest change to this statute is that Missouri now recognizes a presumption that 50/50 parenting time is in the best interests of a child. Although this is now the presumed standard, that presumption can be rebutted by showing by a preponderance of the evidence that it is not in the best interests of the child to award equal parenting time to the parents. In determining whether or not to rebut the [...]

2023-11-27T16:30:23+00:00November 27th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody|

Registering Custody Judgments from Other States in Missouri

If you are moving to Missouri from a different state and have a child custody order you want to make sure can be enforced or modified, it’s important to register it in the state of Missouri as a first step. To do this, one must first send to the court: (1) a letter requesting registration of the child custody order; (2) two copies of the child custody order, with one being certified; (3) a verified statement from you that to the best of your knowledge, said order has not been modified; and (4) your name and address, along with [...]

2023-09-28T15:17:21+00:00September 28th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody|

Talking to Your Child about Divorce

Going through a divorce or separation can be a difficult time for the entire family. Regardless of the age of your children, they will face changes, so here are some things you can do to help them move forward: Have a plan. Speak with your spouse about when and how you will discuss your divorce or separation with your children. Consider doing so on a day that allows for some family time and for your children to process the news. If it is extremely difficult for you and your spouse to agree on how to talk to your children, [...]

2023-02-08T16:36:16+00:00February 8th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody, Divorce|

Impact of the Children’s Desires in a Custody Dispute

Determining a child custody arrangement and parenting plan with a detailed parenting time schedule is one of the many issues parties are confronted with during a divorce. Custody issues can easily turn into the most contentious issues during the divorce. Courts in both Missouri and Kansas consider a list of statutory factors when determining the child custody arrangement. One of the most common misconceptions is that there is a magic age where children can decide with which parent they want to live or what the parenting schedule should be. This is not accurate, and prior to becoming adults, the [...]

2022-03-14T15:56:01+00:00March 14th, 2022|Categories: Child Custody|

Relocation of a Child’s Residence under Kansas Law

Parents who are subject to a custody order in the state of Kansas must follow a specific procedure outlined by state law before they can move a child from the child’s principal residence for a period of more than ninety days. First, the parent moving with the child must give notice to the nonmoving parent at least thirty days in advance. That notice must consist of a letter, sent through restricted mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the other parent. (See K.S.A. 23-3222). If a parent fails to notify the other parent, he or she [...]

2021-11-02T15:15:42+00:00November 2nd, 2021|Categories: Child Custody|

The Role of the Guardian ad Litem

If you are involved in a family law matter in Missouri or Kansas concerning minor children, you may have heard of a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”). The role of the GAL is very specific and dissimilar to the role of your own attorney in such matters. At the request of either party or on the Court’s own initiative, a GAL may be appointed where custody or parenting time is at issue between the parties. These proceedings can include divorce actions, paternity actions, adoptions, modifications, etc. Whereas the appointment of a GAL is usually discretionary with the Court, in Missouri, [...]

2021-10-19T16:46:24+00:00October 19th, 2021|Categories: Child Custody|

Relocation in a Border City

Since the Kansas City metro area is located on the state line between Missouri and Kansas, it is not uncommon for a parent to move from Missouri to Kansas or from Kansas to Missouri. This crossing of state lines can raise additional questions and issues for divorced or divorcing parents with minor children in the home. Regardless of whether or not state lines are crossed, a parent who wants to relocate the children’s home has to comply with certain statutory requirements. In Missouri, you must send the other parent notice of the intended relocation by certified mail at least [...]

2020-10-20T15:03:46+00:00October 20th, 2020|Categories: Child Custody, Child Support|

Holiday Parenting Time

As the holidays approach, many parents in the process of divorce may be concerned about how a time of year centered on family will be handled now that the family is changing. While it is natural to want to have your children with you for every holiday every year, it is important for children to get to spend holiday time with each of their parents when their parents are no longer together. The parenting plan that you will prepare with your divorce attorney will have a parenting time schedule, which will include a specific schedule for all major holidays. [...]

2019-12-17T22:43:02+00:00December 17th, 2019|Categories: Child Custody|
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