There are few decisions as weighty and central to a divorce as child custody arrangements. Determining where your child will live and go to school can shape the course of their future, just as visitation schedules can shape the nature of the child’s relationship with each parent. Judges understand this all too well, and will always put the child’s needs and interests first in making these decisions.
That said, there are many other factors that inform any child custody decision. As St. Louis divorce lawyers skilled in helping parents deal with a wide range of childcare scenarios, our team at Kallen Law Firm, LLC can provide the steady guidance and customized, creative solutions that you need. We’ll act as strong advocates for you as a parent, as well as for the future of your child – whether we’re in the courtroom or at the negotiating table.
Here are some of the biggest factors a Missouri judge will consider in a child custody case:
- Financial situation of each parent. Having a lower income than your soon-to-be-ex doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be unable to have primary physical custody. However, the court will look closely at the finances of each parent when determining where the child will live on a regular basis, as this can impact their opportunities.
- Living accommodations. A house doesn’t have to be luxurious or spacious to cover a child’s needs – but it does have to have certain comforts and accommodations ready to go. When figuring out a visitation schedule, it’s important to think about the real estate properties owned or rented by each parent, and whether they can house a child adequately through the year.
- Parental relationships with the child. As you know, caring for a child is about much more than the costs. It’s also about the quality of the care that a parent can provide. The judge will take a long look at your relationship with your child, paying particular attention to a past history of abuse, violence, or otherwise bad behavior. If there’s anything amiss, it can dramatically impact not only physical custody arrangements, but legal custody (or decision-making power) as well.
- Any special needs or requirements. Determining custody arrangements for special needs children can be even more complex than conventional child custody decisions. Many children with special needs have a hard time adjusting to changing circumstances, and may need additional support and help.
- Medical expenses. Does your child have any ongoing medical conditions, whether minor or serious? Then medical expenses, healthcare coverage, and physician continuity will all be a special points of consideration for the judge. This is also true even if your child is perfectly healthy, although it may rank less than other factors.
- Educational opportunities. Where your child attends school can make or break their future prospects. Considering the quality of the school district, the geographical area, and the finances of both parents, the judge will decide where your child goes to school, which also impacts where they live most of the time.
Advocating for Missouri Mothers & Fathers
Regardless of your specific needs, our St. Louis family lawyers at Kallen Law Firm, LLC, can deftly help you figure out the details for your child custody arrangements. With hundreds of cases handled throughout the St. Louis area, our divorce team has the experience and the skill to advocate on your behalf, and to represent your interests in the proceedings.
Call us at (314) 441-7793 to get started with a free consultation!