Child custody can be the most emotional part of dissolving a marriage. Dividing your assets is one thing. Dividing custody of your children is quite another, but thousands of couples face that challenge every year. In 2018, more than 18,600 couples divorced in Missouri, and 46% of those dissolutions involved children.
Maybe you’re thinking about getting a divorce and don’t know what to expect in negotiating child custody issues. Or, maybe you’re divorced and have an existing agreement you want to change. Either way, you need to consult a family law attorney for advice about such a critical aspect of your life and your child’s.
At the Doskocil Law Firm, I’ve been helping clients in St. Louis and St. Louis County, Missouri navigate complex child custody issues for more than 30 years. Although every client’s circumstances are unique, I’ve learned there are a lot of common challenges with child custody, and I can put my knowledge and experience to work for you.
Establishing a Child Custody Arrangement
Child custody agreements are detailed plans covering issues such as parenting time, visitation, and financial support. There are two options divorcing parents can take to reach an arrangement:
You and your spouse can agree on the terms of child custody and present that agreement to the court for approval. This is the fastest, least expensive, and often, less painful option. It allows the parents to decide the terms of the agreement instead of the court. Advice from an experienced attorney can help you keep the conversation productive and on track.
If you and your spouse can’t agree to terms, you’ll take your case to court where the judge will gather information and construct a child custody agreement. Even though the judge takes the lead in this situation, your attorney can help you present your views on establishing what you feel is in the best interest of your children.