Trusted Missouri Law Firm Supports You Throughout Your Divorce
Jefferson City attorney delivers skilled legal guidance with child custody and other issues
Hernandez Law Firm, LLC delivers exceptional legal service when you and your family are considering or moving toward divorce or other family transition. When you have questions about the divorce process and what to do next—we can help.
Whether it was anticipated or sudden, the decision to divorce initiates a process whereby you legally dissolve your marriage after agreements are made and documents are filed with the court. Along with the legal process is the emotional challenge of dealing with changes that will rearrange your life. Our firm delivers personalized legal service to help you make agreements that reflect your choices. We work to ensure your divorce concludes with the best possible circumstances for your family.
Understanding child custody in Missouri
Discussions about the custody of children are often difficult during the divorce process. While some parents easily come to agreement about child custody, for others the matter becomes a bitter conflict.
In Missouri, a parenting plan must be filed with the Court for approval prior to the granting of a divorce. The plan provides information to the Court on the care of children, including custody and visitation, how expenses are managed, child support, and other information. The plan provides a structure for the parents—and the Court—to understand their responsibilities for children going forward. Two types of custody discussed within the parenting plan include:
Legal custody: Legal custody provides the authority for a parent to make important decisions on behalf of their child, including medical, educational, and other decisions. Legal custody is often shared by parents, but can be allocated to one or the other parent.
Physical custody: The right to provide a residence and physically care for a child is called physical custody. There are many arrangements that parents can make to share physical custody, or one parent may have sole physical custody.
The best parenting plans and custody arrangements are those agreed upon by parents. If parents cannot come to an agreement, the Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, which is an attorney trained to represent the best interests of minor children in certain types of child custody cases in Missouri.
A Guardian Ad Litem is not appointed in every case where parents cannot agree on the custody of their children. These officers of the court are more often appointed when there are allegations of substance or child abuse or when a child displays at-risk behavior. A Guardian Ad Litem has the authority to investigate the case, the circumstances of each parent, and explore their relationship with their children.
Our law firm regularly acts in the capacity of a Guardian Ad Litem in child custody matters before Missouri courts. As a Guardian Ad Litem, we help both parents understand the needs and concerns of children at their developmental stage, and work to ensure good decisions are made on their behalf.
Experienced family law attorney in Missouri helps you with divorce and more
With more than ten years serving individuals and families in transition in Missouri, the Hernandez Law Firm, LLC offers comprehensive legal service whether you are filing for divorce, challenging custody, or discussing the division of assets. When you have questions about divorce in Jefferson City, contact us today or call (573) 349-8200 to schedule a free initial consultation. Se habla Español.