Child Custody & Visitation

Missouri family courts focus on the best interests of the children when ordering custody and parenting plans. There are several statutory factors that courts are required to consider if the parents cannot agree upon custody arrangements, and Pingelton Law Firm knows how to best present each one.

“Legal custody” refers to decision-making authority for the children. It is common nowadays for parents to have joint legal custody so that they will continue to have an equal say in things like: education, healthcare, religion, and activities. Sometimes it is necessary to further define those rights. And in some cases, the court will want to restrict a parent’s authority if necessary to protect the child. Pingelton Law Firm will help you through whatever legal custody order is required.

“Physical custody” refers to the actual physical time a child has with each parent. Recent changes in Missouri law have lessened the impact of how this label is applied, preferring instead to focus on the actual schedule of the child. This is a good thing, because your child cares when and where time will be spent, and not what label is applied in your legal papers. Physical custody schedules will sometimes affect other matters, and Pingelton Law Firm knows how to construct these things both for your child’s best interest and for your concerns as well.

One other thing. Pingelton Law Firm will never refer to your time with your child as “visitation.” People have “visitation” with others in the hospital, on vacation, or in jail. Parents should not have to “visit” their own children during parenting time.

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573-449-5091