There are many misconceptions about child custody of which Missouri parents should be aware. It is important that parents who have to go to court regarding child custody issues know the facts.
One common myth is that the parent who leaves has surrendered his or her child custody rights. In reality, parents in most states actually share legal and physical custody until there is a formal court order in place that indicates otherwise. If the parent has left and his or her whereabouts are unknown, the other parent would have to file for custody and wait for the outcome to be recognized as having sole legal or physical custody.