Ferguson Child Custody Lawyer
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Top Ferguson Child Custody Attorney
At Raza Family Law Solutions, our Ferguson child custody lawyer has the professional skills and family law expertise that you can rely on. It is our mission to help parents find cooperative, cost-effective solutions whenever possible. If you have any questions about child custody or child visitation, we can help. Contact us today to set up your completely confidential consultation with an experienced Missouri child custody attorney.
Understanding Child Custody in Missouri
As a starting point, it is useful to understand that there are actually two different “types” of child custody in Missouri. The state recognizes both “physical custody” and “legal custody.” Broadly speaking physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides and includes the day-to-day care of the child. It is this form of custody that largely determines the child’s primary residence and the responsibilities of each parent in providing for the child’s daily needs, such as shelter, food, and personal care. On the other hand, legal custody pertains to the right to make significant decisions about the child’s life, such as for his or her education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.
Missouri Presumes Some Version of Shared Custody is Best for Children
Missouri state law generally presumes that it is in the best interest of the child for parents to share some form of custody. Indeed, there is a general assumption under state law that both mothers and fathers have an equal right to seek custody. The presumption is based on the belief that maintaining a strong relationship with both parents is beneficial for the child’s development and well-being. Shared custody arrangements can take various forms, ranging from joint physical custody, where the child spends significant time with each parent, to situations where one parent has primary physical custody but both have shared legal custody.
Note: It is possible for a parent to be awarded sole physical custody and sole legal custody in Ferguson, Missouri. If it is deemed in the best interest of the child for one parent to be granted sole custody—perhaps because the other parent has a serious history of substance abuse—Missouri courts have the authority to do so.
Missouri in a “Best Interests of the Child” State
Consistent with most other U.S. jurisdictions, Missouri is a “best interests of the child” state. It is the foundation of all child custody cases. The standard requires courts to make custody/visitation determinations in Ferguson with primary consideration to what is best for the child’s health, the child’s safety, and the child’s overall well-being. In Missouri, the courts examine a comprehensive set of factors to determine what will best serve the child. Best interests of the child factors include:
- The Child’s Relationship with Parents and Siblings: Established relationships matter a lot in custody cases. Missouri law holds that strong emotional ties and the benefit of maintaining sibling relationships are important considerations when determining custody.
- The Parent’s Ability to Provide: Missouri courts will also consider the capacity of each parent to meet the child’s needs, including emotional, material, and educational support. Parenting ability—and willingness—are relevant factors.
- The Child’s Adjustment: State courts handling custody cases in Ferguson will also evaluate how well the child is adjusted to their home, school, and community. There is a presumption that stability is inherently better for children.
- The Parents’ Wishes: Notably, parental desires are not irrelevant. Quite the contrary, the desires of each parent regarding custody arrangements will be taken into account. When parents can voluntarily agree on a custody agreement, courts give them broad deference.
- The Child’s Wishes: Depending on the age and maturity of the child, their preferences may be considered. In Missouri, children who are 12 years of age or older are often given an opportunity to give input on their preferred custody/visitation arrangement.
- Any Evidence of Parental Misconduct: Finally, any history of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse by either parent is heavily weighted in custody cases in Ferguson, Missouri.
Our Focus in On Collaborative, Low-Conflict Solutions in Child Custody Cases
Going through a custody case can put a tremendous strain on parents and families. We know that parents in Ferguson are looking for an efficient, amicable resolution that both protects their rights and provides the best structure for their child(ren). At Raza Family Law Solutions, our approach to child custody is rooted in collaborative solutions. We understand that the well-being of children is paramount—our goal is to facilitate an environment where both parents can contribute positively to their child’s growth and development. While we will never let your parental rights take a back seat, our Ferguson custody and visitation lawyer will work hard to help you find a non-litigation solution. Avoiding child custody litigation can save time, save money, and preserve relationships.
How Ferguson Child Custody Lawyer Sophya Qureshi Raza Can Help
For divorced and separated parents who share young children or teenagers, navigating a child custody or child visitation case can be deeply challenging. Our founding member Sophya Qureshi Raza is a Missouri family lawyer with extensive experience helping parents find the solution that is the right fit for their specific situation. When you contact our family law team, you will have an opportunity to connect with a Ferguson child custody lawyer who can:
- Listen to what you have to say and answer questions about Missouri custody laws;
- Investigate the matter, helping you gather and prepare relevant evidence;
- Represent you in any child custody resolutions talks with your co-parent; and
- Take action to ensure that your parental rights and child’s well-being are protected.
Get Help From Our Ferguson Child Custody Attorney Today
At Raza Family Law Solutions, our Ferguson child custody lawyer is standing by, ready to help you determine the best path forward. Have questions about a custody or visitation case? You need a top attorney. Contact us right away for your confidential, no commitment case review. We handle child custody matters in Ferguson and throughout the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
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