As a father going through a divorce or separation where a child is involved, it is likely that you will be considering your child custody options. Many fathers in Missouri assume that the mother will automatically be granted the majority of the custody and responsibilities.
It is important for fathers to remember that they have every right to pursue being a part of their child's life. Both mothers and fathers are treated equally under the law, and child custody decisions are supposed to solely be based on what ruling would be in the best interests of the child.
Therefore, if you are a father and you have a good reason to believe that having sole or shared custody will be in the best interests of your child, it can be important to understand your rights and how you can pursue a fair custody arrangement.
How are the best interests of the child evaluated in Missouri?
The way that the best interests of the child are evaluated generally depends on the exact circumstances, such as the age of the child. For older children, such as those 12 and up, the child's preferences may be a major factor of consideration for the courts.
Other things often considered are the mental and physical health of each parent and the ways that each parent has performed in the past when it comes to caring for the child. The court will also typically take into account each parent's home and how appropriate it will be, as well as the child's adjustment to the community and schools in the area.
How might I increase my chances of gaining custody of my child?
As a father, you should remember that it is illegal for the courts to be biased in regard to gender. Things fathers may want to show during custody proceedings are signs that they are a reliable and loving parent and that they child is their first priority,
If you would like to know more about gaining custody as a Missouri father, it can be important to conduct thorough research and plan ahead.