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Advocating For Your Child’s Future

A child custody battle has a high emotional and financial cost on your entire family. You want your children to be safe, happy and properly cared for. Missouri and Kansas courts will always make decisions based on what will be in your child’s best interests. The court also tries to honor the idea that children are better off spending meaningful time with both of their parents unless exceptions warrant sole custody and no visitation.

At Albano, Richart, Welch & Bajackson, LLC, our attorneys have experience helping with all aspects of a child custody case. One of our attorneys is a court-certified guardian ad litem. This position is a unique one, allowing an individual to represent a child’s interests in court. Our child custody lawyers understand the sensitive nature of these cases and how deeply they impact your family. Representing clients in Independence and the greater Kansas City area, we provide honest communication and strong advocacy.

What You Need To Know About Filing A Petition For Child Custody

Your child custody case will start with a petition for child custody that protects the parents and the child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.

After you establish paternity, if necessary, you may file a petition with the court. The courts then require parents to draft a parenting plan that reflects the child’s best interests. The child’s safety, health and happiness are paramount and are considered by the court first.

The court will consider various factors in determining the best arrangement for the child, including the child’s wishes, relocation plans, history of abuse, neglect or drug abuse, financial needs and resources and individual parenting plans. A judge will also consider each parent’s willingness to allow their child to have a healthy and continuous relationship with their other parent.

What Types Of Child Custody Are Available In Missouri?

Missouri has different types of child custody arrangements based on legal and physical custody. Legal custody authorizes a parent to make decisions regarding the child’s health, education and upbringing. Physical custody means that the child lives in the home of the parent.

These arrangements can include:

  • Joint physical and legal custody
  • Joint physical custody and sole legal custody to one parent
  • Joint legal custody and sole physical custody
  • Sole physical and legal custody to one parent
  • Custody or visitation by third parties, such as grandparents

We can help you determine which arrangement makes the most sense for you and your family. Every situation has positives and downfalls, and we are happy to discuss them with you and help guide you through the process.

A Change In Your Plans: What To Do Next

Sometimes, changes in circumstances may require a parent to petition for a parenting plan modification. The petitioning parent must show that circumstances have changed since the order was made and that the order will be in the child’s best interests. Substance abuse, the quantity of parenting time, environment stability and domestic violence are all factors that may lead to a custody modification.

Another event that may cause a modification is a physical relocation. Under Missouri law, a parent cannot relocate a child for 90 days or more without notifying the other parent 60 days in advance. If the notice does not conform to legal requirements, it could negatively impact your custody agreement and rights. If you need to move with your child or the other parent is trying to take your child out of state, contact us as soon as possible.

Protecting Your Rights As A Parent

A child custody case can be one of the most important things you do as a parent. Fighting for your child takes courage. We want to help you protect your child’s future and your rights as their parent. Contact us today at 816-533-7673 or online to schedule a consultation.