Of late, several states have decided to make moves toward giving both moms and dads equal time with their children. Missouri is one of those states. In other words, under current Missouri law, if parents are living in two separate households and need a custody order, the default will be a parenting plan where dad gets to have the kids in his home half of the time, and mom gets them the other half of the time.

While 50-50 is not how it always works in practice, and there are exceptions to the rule, in general, a parent who has been responsibly involved in the lives of his or her children is going to see his or her children for a good chunk of the time. It is, in these cases, just a matter of getting a detailed parenting plan worked out.

Interestingly, Kansas, just across the river, is not nearly so generous with noncustodial parents. Typically, a parent who does not have custody will only be ordered to have visits for a little over 25 percent of the year. This may be an unacceptable situation for some parents on the west side of the Kansas City area, and so they may have to sink additional time and effort in getting additional parenting time.

These numbers illustrate how important it is for a parent to advocate for their desire to have a meaningful relationship with their children, as not doing so could mean that a mom or dad just won’t have the time with their children that they would desire. Every situation regarding child custody is unique and different factors affect how parents want to divide a child’s time between different households. It is important to know there are various options available that could best suit one’s circumstances and how to present and defend oneself against those claims.