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Equal custody could become the presumption in Missouri

33033724_S.jpgThe Missouri legislature is considering a bill that would amend the current child custody laws of the state and create a presumption that parents should receive equal custody arrangements with their children after a divorce. This would typically be entailed with an every other week custody, rather than one parent having the children most of the time and the other parent often only seeing them for a few days on the weekends every month.

The proponents of the bill suggest that having such a statutory presumption will reduce litigation and "nasty custody fights." The President of the National Parents Organization claimed that these fights often develop due to parents perceiving that the court will demand one parent must be the winner while the other parent will be the loser.

The research appears to correlate with better outcomes for children when both parents are involved, which makes sense, but the good news is parents do not need to wait until the sometimes slow legislative processes to make this change to the statutes.

If you have children, you can create a parenting plan that provides a 50/50 split for the children today. The best interests of the children are furthered when both parents can cooperate and work together, in spite of divorcing, to maintain a civil and reasonable relationship.

This can be helped by working with your attorney to develop a parenting plan that is well-thought out and details your relationship with your children's other parent in a way that promotes what each can do to assist in raising your children.

The court is likely to approve a plan that both parents support and that is truly designed with the best interests of the children at heart, even if it means the occasional inconvenience for the parents.

Source: kcur.org, "Missouri Child Custody Bill Promotes Equal Sharing," Steve Bell, February 9, 2016

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