Many children in Missouri count down the days to the start of their summer vacation from school. However, this time period can be a time of confusion and stress when children divide their time between the homes of two parents who both share child custody. Despite the potential for added stress for the child, there are some ways in which parents can help with the transition.
When a couple divorces, there are multiple decisions that must be made. If they have children, many of these decisions involve who will provide care for them and whether one party must pay child support. A proposed bill in Missouri adds additional requirements for judges when making a child custody determination.
When parents in Missouri and across the country are unable to provide care for their children, there often comes a time when the court must step in and determine who will be in charge of them. In many states, family members are preferred when available. Despite this, a judge in another state ruled that child custody of two children should go to foster parents rather than the children's grandparents.
There are people in Missouri and across the country who are willing to open up their homes and provide loving families to children whose parents are not able to provide care. However, some children are from Native American tribes and have a rich cultural and traditional history that many argue should be preserved. As such, the federal government enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 which requires that members of Native American tribes be given preference in child custody issues involving children whose parents are tribal members. The law has both proponents and opponents.
Many parents in Missouri and across the country believe that a strong relationship with both parents is in the best interest of the children, facilitated by a 50/50 custody arrangement. However, there are certain circumstances that would necessitate a different arrangement. In fact, a judge in another state recently awarded retired NBA player, Matt Barnes, sole physical and legal child custody of his two children.
What happens to the children is often the most contentious issue in any Missouri divorce. Child custody is not an easy subject for parents, whether they are ending their marriage or they were never married after having children together. This legal issue can be particularly complex and difficult for fathers, and often, they find they must tenaciously fight to protect their interests and their parental rights.
State legislatures in Missouri and other states continue to look for ways to improve the administration of child custody laws to make them even more supportive of the needs of the children. Although child custody law is guided by the all-encompassing mandate of deciding what is in the best interest of the children it doesn't always work out that way. Better legislation may involve a clarification of the goals of child custody law and more accurate wording of the provisions contained in the law.
In Missouri, the family law courts will decide which parent gets child custody when the parents are disputing such rights. All states authorize child services agencies to petition the family law or juvenile court for termination of a parent's parental rights. Due to the general policy of the legislature in each state to encourage the preservation of the family bond between biological parents and their children, the courts do not lightly grant child custody to third parties nor do they readily approve termination of parental rights petitions.
With Father's Day approaching, many dads may be thinking about how they will spend the day with their kids. Their custody arrangements likely include Father's Day weekend so the children can celebrate the influence of their dads in their lives. Missouri dads going through divorce may be encouraged by the recent child custody trends that provide a more balanced time for the children to be with both parents. Although shared parenting looks good on paper, a recent study shows that it may not be put into practice as often as it should be.
At least in theory, Missouri and most other states have adopted the modern view that parents should share equally the burdens and joys of raising their children after a divorce. Studies have consistently reported more positive outcomes for children who had both parents remaining active in their lives after a divorce. That does not necessarily mean that the hours with the children each week should be split down the middle; instead, it refers to child custody being a shared experience with an equal commitment by both parents to the children's upbringing.