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What Factors are Considered when Determining Child Custody?

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When determining child custody in Missouri, the courts consider several factors to ensure the best interests of the child are met. Here are some key factors that are typically considered:

  • Parenting abilities and plan: The court evaluates each parent’s ability to provide a stable, nurturing environment for the child. This includes assessing their parenting skills, work schedules, and proposed parenting plan.
  • Child’s needs: The court takes into account the specific needs of the child, including their age, health, emotional well-being, and any special needs they may have. The court aims to provide a custody arrangement that best meets these needs.
  • Child’s adjustment: The court considers how well the child has adjusted to their current living situation, school, and community. Maintaining stability and minimizing disruptions is often a priority.
  • Parent-child relationship: The quality of the relationship between each parent and the child is evaluated. The court considers factors such as the emotional bond, involvement in the child’s life, and the ability to provide guidance and support.
  • Mental and physical health: The court assesses the mental and physical health of each parent, including any history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or other issues that could impact their ability to care for the child effectively.
  • Child’s preferences: If the child is of a sufficient age and maturity level, the court may consider their preferences regarding custody arrangements, although this is not the sole determining factor.
  • Geographic proximity: The court may consider the geographic proximity of the parents’ residences to facilitate the child’s involvement with both parents and minimize disruptions to their routine.
  • Child abuse or neglect: Any evidence of child abuse or neglect by either parent is a significant factor that the court takes into account.

It’s important to note that the court’s primary focus is on determining the arrangement that serves the child’s best interests. The specific factors considered may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case.

At Raza Family Law Solutions, we practice family law effectively guiding clients through prenuptial and post nuptial agreements, dissolution of marriage, modifications of prior judgments, and resolving child custody disputes. We also help families take a different approach to divorce with mediation and collaborative work.  Contact us for a consultation at (314) 408-5957.

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