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Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma Child Custody Attorneys
Protecting The Parent-Child Relationship in St. Louis (Clayton), Kansas City (Lee’s Summit & Overland Park), Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Topeka, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Beyond
Parents play the most important role in the lives of their children. That’s why, at Stange Law Firm, PC, we place a great emphasis on seeking child custody solutions that protect the parent-child relationship.
We often encourage our clients to take a proactive and common-sense approach to child custody. We help them make smart decisions that help courts find in their favor, fighting hard to get the results that our clients — and their children — can live with.
To learn more about what you can do to make the most of your child custody case, you can view our informational custody videos, or listen to our podcast titled helpful tips for child custody cases.
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Focused on the Best Interests of the Child
In matters of child custody, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma law focuses on the best interests of the child. Courts look at the facts of each case and consider a series of factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s home situation and, if the child is old enough, the child’s wishes.
In Missouri and Kansas, courts consider both physical and legal custody:
- Physical custody: Physical custody is where the child will live. Physical custody can be called joint or sole custody. If custody is roughly proportionate, most courts call it joint physical custody. Where custody is more dispassionate, one parent has sole physical custody with the other parent having temporary custody and visitation rights. In joint physical custody cases, the court selects a residential parent for school and mailing purposes.
- Legal custody: Legal custody is the power to make major decisions in the child’s life. These include decisions about education, health care and religious upbringing. Courts prefer to give parents joint legal custody unless there are special circumstances, like alcoholism, drug use, the parents are unable to co-parent effectively or family violence.
Please note in Illinois, however, the term “child custody” is not used. In Illinois, courts call it “allocation of parental responsibilities.” Each parent is “allocated” decision-making power by Illinois courts on important decisions, including: health, religion, education and extracurricular activities. Some parents find it hard communicating well and this new rule allows parents to still both be involved in the life of their child even if communication is not effective.
The Role of the Guardian Ad Litem
Guardians ad litem are often appointed by the court when abuse or neglect is suspected, but they can also be appointed at a judge’s discretion. When appointed, they conduct an in-depth investigation of the family situation and issue a report to the court. Judges take the guardian’s report seriously.
For this reason, it is critical to put your best foot forward when working with a guardian ad litem. Make sure you have the right attitude both in the courtroom and outside of it. Avoid causing fights or disruptions, saying inflammatory things or engaging in name-calling. Make a positive impression by showing patience and common sense.
Full Service Child Custody RepresentationOur child custody practice focuses on protecting the well being of children and the rights of parents. We handle issues such as:
Creating a parenting plan
Relocation with a child
Enforcement of orders
Contempt of court
Modification of orders:
Custody Issues for Nonmarried Parents
Family Access Motions
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
Fertility and Surrogacy
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Serving the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Topeka, Tulsa and Beyond in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma
From our webpage, you can also read articles about family law, view informational videos, seminar videos, listen to our podcast, download our mobile application or view support calculators for Missouri, Illinois and Kansas.
If you are looking to find and hire a child custody lawyer, contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation at any of our convenient locations.
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