Whether you are going through a divorce for the first time or modifying an existing child custody matter, navigating the waters around developing an effective parenting plan can seem daunting. Parents must not only consider their schedule but, those of the other parent. They must also consider whether their relationship with the other parent will allow them to co-parent effectively. Nevertheless, regardless of each parent’s situation and preferences, the parents, as well as the court, are expected to give the most weight to what is in the best interest of the child. In Missouri, developing a parenting plan involves determining both physical and legal custody. Further, in each of those areas, the parties or the court must determine whether they will exercise joint or sole custody. If you are facing a child custody matter and are drafting a parenting plan, it is essential to know what factors the court will consider in making a custody determination.
Ahearn Kershman, LLC
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What is Parental alienation? Many characterize it as a form of child abuse in which one parent undertakes to manipulate children psychologically to reject the other parent. In Missouri, where joint legal custody and substantially shared custody and visitation plans are strongly favored, may give rise to the justification for the court to modify parenting time when one parent is, in this case, purposefully undermining the other parents’ relationship with the children. As such, even, generally speaking, Parents must be mindful to avoid any appearance of parental alienation. Then, those parents who are the subject of the alienation should seek help in remedying the situation before it could become too far gone.
In short - in Missouri, a Guardian ad Litem is an attorney who represents the best interests of a child or children in, for example, a custody matter. Missouri’s Revised Statutes Section 452.423 states that a Guardian ad litem [is to be] appointed...1. In all proceedings for child custody or for dissolution of marriage or legal separation where custody, visitation, or support of a child is a contested issue, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem. 2. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding in which child abuse or neglect is alleged.
Generally speaking, divorce is an emotionally difficult process regardless of the relative issues any particular couple may be experiencing. So too, the same can be said for your children and with a great deal of uncertainty as to how any child may handle their own experience. It can certainly be devastating to a child to go through their processing of the divorce and bear witness to their parents' varying levels of animosity. If you are considering a divorce –you well should consider Mediation instead of traditional litigation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method (ADR) that has the potential to dramatically reduce stress and anxiety for one, as well as minimize the length of the process and eliminate your time in court. Reduce Stress. Save Time and Save Money. Have that much more time and financial resources for yourself and your children.
Divorce can be inherently complicated. Often, I have watched as a client pours their heart and soul out to a perceived ally, only to hear that such confidence was ill-placed. Counseling provides legal protections unavailable in many other relationships and permits you to have a relationship in which unintended espionage cannot survive.