Instinctively, most parents to want to have their children with them always, but when you find yourself in a custody battle, this is rarely a possibility.

Children are indivisible, and they will forever belong to both parents in one way or another. As difficult as it may be for you to adjust, the court is only going to focus on what is best for the child. When dealing with child custody in Missouri, the court considers the following factors before deciding:

  1. Which parent is more willing to actively provide for the child’s needs. Think about how to prove to the court that you are the more willing and active parent. Make a list of documents and/or witnesses that can support your position.

  2. The child’s interactions and relationships with family members in both homes, i.e. siblings, significant other, etc. Who lives with you? Who are your neighbors and close friends? How do they provide a support system for your child? Make a list of reasons, documents, and/or witnesses to support your position.

  3. Which parent is more likely to allow the other parent frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with the child. Many parents get into trouble on this factor by trying to thwart the relationship between the child and the other parent, by refusing visitation, or failing to share information. Make sure you are on the right side of this factor.

  4. The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community. In many cases, it may be necessary to obtain school records and documents showing the child’s involvement in extracurricular activities.

  5. The mental and physical health of the parties. If a parent or child has mental or physical health problems, it is important to consult with an attorney to make sure your case presents this evidence in a careful manner.

  6. Whether either party may endanger the child’s health, impair emotional development, or work against his/her best interests. The child is the court’s primary concern.

Child custody issues are very complicated and stressful. If you still have questions and are worried about your kids, please contact Benner Law to schedule a consultation.

Tana Benner and her family

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