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There’s a lot at stake in a child custody battle. Along with being emotionally challenging, you’re leaving it up to the courts to determine how you’ll share parenting responsibilities and your time with your kids.

Because the decisions made during this process will have a lasting impact on your children’s lives, you must arm yourself with knowledge and understanding of Missouri family law and have a good St. Louis child custody lawyer working the case with you.

Whether you’re just beginning the custody process or seeking to modify an existing arrangement, Raza Family Law Solutions can help. 

Child Custody in Missouri: Legal vs. Physical Custody

How our state divides child custody into two main categories: legal and physical.

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about your children’s upbringing, such as their education, healthcare, and religious practices.

Physical Custody

On the other hand, physical custody determines where your child will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.

Custody Forms

There are several types of custody arrangements that the Missouri courts may order.

  • Joint legal custody: Both parents are responsible for making major decisions for the child.
  • Sole legal custody: One parent can make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.
  • Joint physical custody: The child splits their time between both parents’ homes.
  • Sole physical custody: The child primarily resides with one parent, while the other may have visitation rights.

Child’s “Best Interests” Standard

Missouri courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody, considering factors such as:

  • Child’s relationship with each parent.
  • Ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment.
  • Mental and physical health of all parties involved.
  • Child’s adjustment to their current home, school, and community.
  • Willingness of parents to maintain a meaningful relationship between the child and each other.

How Raza Family Law Solutions Can Help with Your Child Custody Case

Taking on complex child custody litigation is no easy task, especially during an already emotional divorce. That’s where Raza Family Law Solutions comes in.

Our child custody attorneys will:

  1. Give you legal guidance and representation throughout the custody process.
  2. Advocate for your parental rights and the best interests of your child.
  3. Negotiate custody agreements with the other party’s legal team.
  4. Represent you in court proceedings, if necessary.
  5. Help you understand and work the legal system.

Raza Family Law Solutions protects your child’s rights and your parenting interest.

Walking You Through The Child Custody Process Gracefully

St. Louis child custody cases typically begin when one parent files a petition for custody with the court.

From there, the process moves through the family law courts until the parents come to an agreement or a judge decides on the matter.


Missouri judges often force parents into mediation before letting their cases proceed to trial. During these sessions, a neutral third party resolves their custody and visitation disputes.

Court Hearings

Child custody cases move to court when mediation is unsuccessful. Both parents can present evidence and arguments supporting their desired custody arrangement here.

  • Custody orders: After considering all the evidence, a judge will issue a custody order detailing the legal and physical custody arrangements.
  • Modifications: If circumstances change significantly after the initial custody order is issued, either parent may petition the court for a modification.
  • Enforcement: If one parent violates the custody order, the other parent may seek court intervention to enforce the order.

Raza Family Law Solutions guides you throughout this process, advocates for your rights, and ensures your child’s best interests remain at the forefront of proceedings.

How Domestic Violence Impacts Child Custody Matters

Child custody decisions change when domestic violence is present in a family. The Missouri courts take these allegations very seriously because they affect the safety and well-being of the child.

If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you must fully disclose the abuse to your child custody lawyer.

Your legal counsel will do everything possible to get you out of this complex situation by:

  • Securing restraining orders to keep the abusive parent away from the family during child custody litigation.
  • Petitioning the courts to limit or deny custody and visitation of a parent who has committed domestic violence
  • Gathering evidence, such as police reports or medical records, to support your case.
  • Arranging supervised visitation to ensure the child’s safety.

Remember, you and your child’s safety are of the utmost importance. Let Raza Family Law Solutions secure your rights in these challenging circumstances.

Tips for Healthy Co-Parenting With a Custody Agreement

After you reach a custody agreement, you must effectively co-parent and communicate with your spouse for the arrangement to work.

Always maintain a stable and nurturing environment around the children regardless of how hard it is to maintain a cordial relationship with your ex-spouse.

Some tips for successful co-parenting include:

  • Keeping your child’s best interests at the forefront of all decisions.
  • Communicating with your ex-spouse openly and respectfully.
  • Being flexible and willing to compromise when necessary.
  • Attending co-parenting classes or workshops to improve your skills.

Working with a Court-Appointed Guardian ad Litem in Child Custody Cases

In some child custody cases, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to represent the child’s best interests.

GALs are attorneys or mental health professionals who investigate the family situation and make recommendations to the court regarding custody and visitation.

If the courts appoint aGAL in your case, it is important to:

  • Cooperate fully with their investigation.
  • Provide any requested information or documentation.
  • Be honest and forthcoming about your situation.

Raza Family Law Solutions can explain the GAL’s role and help you work with them effectively throughout the custody process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the courts determine child support amounts in custody cases?

Judges calculate child support based on state-mandated formulas that consider each parent’s income, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children.

What is a parenting plan, and why is it important?

Parenting plans outline how you and your ex-spouse share responsibilities and time with your children. It also helps minimize conflict and provides co-parenting stability.

Can grandparents or other family members seek custody?

In some cases, grandparents or other relatives may obtain custody of your children when they demonstrate to the courts that it’s in the child’s best interests.

How does relocation affect child custody arrangements?

If one parent wishes to relocate with the child, they must modify the existing child custody order. The courts will approve the move only if it’s in the child’s best interest.

What should I do if my ex-spouse violates the custody order?

You should document the violation and consult with Raza Family Law Solutions if your ex-spouse doesn’t honor your custody arrangement. Our family law attorneys can help you seek court intervention to enforce the order.

Choosing the Right St. Louis Child Custody Lawyer

Having an experienced family law firm in your corner makes a big difference when facing a child custody battle.

You should look for a child custody lawyer who:

  • Has worked extensively in family law and custody cases.
  • Possesses strong communication and negotiation skills.
  • Takes a compassionate and understanding approach to your case.
  • Has a track record of success in handling custody matters.

Seasoned St. Louis child custody lawyers are also familiar with local courts and judges and thoroughly understand Missouri custody laws.

How Raza Family Law Solutions Can Help

Our family law firm works closely with you to develop a personalized legal strategy tailored to your unique situation.

Raza Family Law Solutions will listen to your story, answer your questions, and help you understand your legal options moving forward.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Child custody law in Missouri is confusing, but you have friends around you to help you figure it out.

Let Raza Family Law Solutions protect your parental rights and place your child’s best interests at the forefront of your custody battle.

Reach out to a qualified St. Louis child custody attorney today. And together, we’ll secure a custody arrangement that provides your family stability, security, and a bright future.

Schedule Consultation