Family law is a practice area covering a range of cases involving familial relationships. In Missouri, family law statutes cover divorce, child custody and support, paternity, domestic violence, and more.
Many issues, such as divorce and child custody arrangements, can be financially and emotionally draining. In these situations, you need compassionate legal support from a Wildwood family lawyer. The dedicated attorneys at Jones Family Law Group could listen to your situation, provide legal advice, and help you reach the best solution.
Legal Separation and Divorce in Wildwood
Couples can file for a court-ordered legal separation rather than a divorce in Wildwood. While the outcome is very similar to a divorce, this option may allow couples to work through problems before seeking to dissolve their marriage.
Either person may file a petition in family court. A judge reviews the case and grants a legal separation order safeguarding your rights while you and your spouse determine if you wish to reconcile or move forward with a divorce. It should be noted that a legal separation will still divide marital property, award spousal support if appropriate, and grant custody rights to parents.
Missouri is a Partial No-Fault Divorce State
Missouri is a partial no-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses do not need to prove misconduct or details about the reason for filing the dissolution of marriage. However, the Court can consider fault or marital misconduct when it divides marital property and awards spousal support.
Whether you are the petitioner or the respondent, a local family attorney at our firm could help you throughout the proceedings and advocate for your best interests.
Child Custody Arrangements in Missouri
There are five common types of custody arrangements, including the following:
- Both parents have equal co-parenting rights, sharing joint legal and physical custody of the children
- Parents share legal custody, while one has primary physical custody
- Parents share physical custody, while one has primary legal custody
- One of the parents has sole legal and physical custody
- Third parties, such as grandparents, have custody or visitation rights
Another type of custody is when a parent has supervised visitation with a child. That is typically ordered in extreme circumstances.
Either parent can go to court for child custody orders and modifications, child support orders, or more visitation rights with the children.
Petition for Child Custody and Parenting Plans
The family court strives to ensure children have regular and frequent time to share strong relationships with both parents. The child custody court order includes a parenting plan to address each parent’s visitation, rights, and responsibilities. According to the Missouri Revised Statute § 452.310, the family court judge does not show preference or decide on child custody or parenting plans based on current living arrangements.
The family courts prefer that parents are amicable and negotiate parenting plans and child visitation themselves or with a mediator. When co-parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will order a plan on the child’s best interest. Our family lawyers in Wildwood could help you create a parenting plan or reach a fair child support agreement.
Call a Knowledgeable Family Attorney in Wildwood
Strained domestic relationships can leave you overwhelmed, frustrated, and needing experienced legal representation. Many divorce settlements, separation, or child custody arrangements do not require ongoing litigation to resolve.
A Wildwood family lawyer at Jones Family Law Group could help reach a fair agreement that benefits everyone involved. We are prepared to advocate for your rights in and out of the courtroom. Call today to schedule a consultation if you need help settling a case involving family law.