What You Need to Know About Petitioning for Child Custody and Support
Icon  February 5, 2021

What You Need to Know About Petitioning for Child Custody and Support

Are you currently in a custody dispute in Park Hills, MO? To successfully resolve a custody dispute, you need professional family law representation to guide you through the process. Here are the answers to five frequently asked questions that all parents need to know before filing a custody dispute.

What does a petition for child custody do?

The petition for child custody is the first step you need to take in a custody case. The rights of both parents, including a father’s right to regular contact with his child, are protected by a special petition called a petition for child custody. It also protects a child’s right to have frequent and meaningful contact with both parents, so long as it’s in the child’s best interest. It’s filed with the courts only after paternity of the child is established, but before custody issues are settled. Once a petition is in place, Missouri courts require parents to design a parenting plan that reflects the best interests of the child.

How can you legally establish paternity?

Paternity can be established by the following methods:

  • Consent: At the time of the child’s birth, the mother and father can sign an affidavit acknowledging paternity at the hospital.
  • Declaration of paternity: A man has the option to file a declaration of paternity with the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records if he reasonably believes he is the father of the child.
  • Judgment: A court may enter a judgment to determine that a man is the child’s legal father.

What is a parenting plan?

It’s essential to create a parenting plan when filing a petition for child custody in Park Hills, MO. Parents are required to negotiate a plan and submit it in writing to the court. A court will only approve of a parenting plan that promotes the best interest of the child. When both parents are actively involved in creating the plan and submit it together, courts generally approve it. When parents are unable to agree on a plan, the court requires each parent to submit their own plan and will either accept one of the plans or create a new one entirely.

What should you include in a parenting plan?

As you write your parenting plan, be sure to specify the following terms:

  • A schedule of custody and visitation
  • A transportation plan that follows the residential schedule
  • All information about the child’s health care
  • The amount of child support that each parent should pay
  • A method for resolving disputes between the parents

How do you file a petition for custody?

Keep in mind that each court has specific requirements for how they handle custody cases. You need to rely on your local professionals in family law representation to file the correct documents and represent you in court, if necessary. Failure to follow the rules set out by the court can result in the case being thrown out. A legal expert knows how to navigate the courts and will guide you through every step of the custody process.

Custody disputes can be stressful and confusing. Contact Maynard & Joyce, LLC to handle your petition for child custody in Park Hills, MO with professionalism and ease.