Divorce & Child Custody
Divorce or dissolution of marriage is emotionally difficult, even under the best circumstances. Emotionally charged issues you face include the custody of your children (who we know mean the world to you), dividing of financial assets accumulated during the marriage, and supporting yourself.
Divorcing spouses can part on good terms if both individuals know how they want to divide shared possessions and how they want their children to grow up. Divorce, in situations such as this, can still be emotionally difficult.
When spouses do not agree on division of assets and custody issues, the divorce process can be one of the darkest periods in a person’s life. A divorce attorney at the Earnshaw & Cownie Law Firm understands that, more than anything, you want to put this crisis behind you. We can help you do that.
Services Provided by a Divorce Attorney at Our Firm
An experienced divorce attorney at our firm will work with you to help you make decisions about the custody and support of your children. As you work through issues of legal and physical custody, an experienced divorce attorney at our firm will guide you to help you make choices that make sense for your family.
When parents can set aside their personal differences and work together for the best interest of their children, the court will generally grant them joint legal custody. This means that mom and dad retain the roles of mom and dad in making decisions for their children.
Where the parents are sharing significant amounts of time with their children, the courts generally grant them joint physical custody. Joint physical custody doesn’t necessarily mean that parents are evenly sharing time with their children.
The Missouri legislature recognizes that children are important to divorcing couples, just as they are to parents who remain together. For that reason, the Missouri legislature has enacted their preference for joint legal and joint physical custody.
Unfortunately, joint custody is sometimes a bad idea. For those families, there is sole custody – which can be both sole legal custody as well as sole physical custody. We can assist you in fashioning a parenting plan that works for your family.
Every family is different. What works beautifully for one may spell catastrophe for another. If you and your child’s other parent can’t decide how to divide custody, a skilled attorney helps you look out for your interests as well as the best interests of your children.
A divorce attorney at our law firm can help in this representation.
When a child lives with one parent, the other parent will normally have parenting time, which is often called “visitation.” Plans for parent visitation, grandparent visitation or other visitation arrangements are as unique as the families that follow them.
Creating a plan that works well is crucial for family stability. Having a skilled divorce attorney to guide you will increase your chances for a workable parenting plan.
Noncustodial parents will normally be required to pay child support. In Missouri, child support does not necessarily end at age 18: f the child attends college or other postsecondary education, he or she may be eligible for child support up to the age of 21.
Child support may also be modified if there are significant changes in the incomes (or certain child-related expenses) of the parents, or upon the emancipation of a child.