Divorce is disruptive and traumatic, but it is designed to ultimately reap a more stable and less disruptive existence for both spouses and children. In a marriage that has lost the fundamental sense of emotional connection and mutual respect and in which communication has broken down, it cannot be convincingly argued that children are better off. While divorce is a difficult experience, it aims to result in a more sustainable family unit through a sensible arrangement for child custody in Columbia, Missouri.
The Issue of Child Custody in Missouri
While in some divorces, there is a clear preference as to which parent has legal and/or physical custody, in most scenarios, both parents would prefer to have an equal say in their children’s upbringing and equal physical access to them. The court will seek to determine whether legal and physical custody should be joint (shared) or exclusively awarded to one or the other.
Time and Duration
It is important to note that if the court determines joint legal or physical custody is appropriate, this does not automatically mean equal in terms of legal responsibility or physical location. The court may award joint child custody in Columbia, Missouri that sees the children spending more time in one location than the other. The court will seek to establish “significant” time with each parent, but not necessarily an equitable split.
The court’s overwhelming goal will be the best interests of the child. If it sees the best interests being served by the child spending most of their time with one parent, it will award an imbalanced joint custody, or possibly sole custody if there are compelling reasons for doing so.