In Missouri, during divorce cases child custody arrangements must be determined. Parties who can agree to the terms can make the decision themselves. Couples who cannot agree must attend a child custody hearing that is separate from the divorce case. A child custody law lawyer in Lee’s Summit, MO assists parents who are involved in a custody battle.

Determining the Type of Child Custody

The court offers two primary types of child custody. Joint custody allows the parents to make decisions about the child together. Sole custody restricts decision-making power to one parent only. Typically, sole custody isn’t an option unless a parent presents a serious risk to the child. In cases where it is granted, the petitioner must provide clear evidence of the risk to support their allegations.

Establishing Parenting Time

Custody orders require the parents to make choices about parenting time. A standard arrangement gives the custodial parent primary physical custody, which means the child lives with them the majority of the time. The noncustodial parent receives visitation every other weekend. The parenting time is split during holidays, birthdays, and summer vacation. If the couple lives in the same town, it is possible for them to divide parenting time more evenly, if they prefer.

Child Support Payments

Child support payments begin at 10% of the noncustodial parent’s income and increase according to how many children they have. An additional 5% of the noncustodial parent’s income is used to provide financial support for each additional child produced during the marriage.

The Child’s Right to Say Where They Want to Live

At age 12, children have the legal right to say where they want to live. If a divorce trial occurs, they will receive a guardian ad litem to present their wishes to the court. The judge has the final say over the case and determines if the child’s choice is the most suitable living environment.

In Missouri, parents who cannot agree on child custody arrangements must attend a hearing, during which the judge will determine what party offers the most appropriate living environment. Parents who need legal assistance can contact a child custody law lawyer in Lee’s Summit, MO at now. You can also visit them on Google My Business.