On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Monday, September 19, 2016.
If you’re a Missouri father who is in the process of divorcing or otherwise severing ties with your child’s other parent, you may be worried that you will not receive fair treatment in regard to child custody or child support decisions rendered by the court. This is a legitimate concern as the court has traditionally used what it determines as the child’s best interests as the basis for such decisions. While this sounds reasonable, the fact is that such determinations are always subjective to a certain degree, and may not produce the desired results.
But the manner in which custody and support decisions are made is about to drastically change. Recently, The Missouri Legislature approved the passage of House Bill 1550, which puts fathers and mothers on a level playing field when it comes to child custody and child support decisions rendered by the court.
Essentially, when going through the court to determine child custody, a parent should now receive equal time upon request. This also applies if a parent asks for equal child support terms. The judge will have to submit a written explanation if he or she chooses to deny the request.
Moving forward, the new law will be applied to cases in which the parents are divorcing, legally separating or are not married and have ceased their relationship. And while the Bill is intended only for new custody cases, it has been suggested that it may motivate parents to seek modifications to their present arrangements.
It appears that the passage of House Bill 1550 will result in more equitable custody and support decisions. But if you are in a custody battle, you likely could use the expertise of a knowledgeable Missouri family law attorney. Remember, it is still possible for a judge to deny requests for equal time, so you want to make the strongest case possible to ensure your get the outcome you desire.
Source: AMI Newswire, “Missouri advances equal rights for child custody,” Sept.9, 2016, Susan Sagarra