When going through a divorce that involves children, it can be a challenge to figure out which custody arrangement will work best. Every family is different, so what works for one may not necessarily work for another. Thankfully, Missouri recognizes various types of child custody arrangements so that every family can put together a plan that works specifically for them.
There are four basic types of child custody that are recognized by the state: physical, legal, sole and joint. Physical custody refers to with whom a child will reside. Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to a parent's decision making powers. When sole custody is awarded, only one parent will be given physical and legal custody. In joint custody situations, however, both parents will be given equitable access to their child, and share in raising and making important life decisions for their child.
In most states, joint or shared custody is the preferred custody arrangement, as studies have shown that allowing children access to both parents is beneficial for their emotional health. However, there are reasons that sole custody is necessary -- such as in cases involving addiction and/or abuse, among other things. It will all come down to what will ultimately serve the best interests of the child.
The good thing about child custody arrangements is that they are customizable. The state of Missouri may define the different types available and set certain guidelines, but at the end of the day, parents have the right to create custody plans that truly fit their needs. This they can do with legal assistance.
Source: FindLaw, "The Various Types of Child Custody", Accessed on July 11, 2017