For most families in Columbia who have to undergo the divorce process, minimizing the strife and contentiousness of the proceeding is an important goal. If you have children, unless one of the parents is found "unfit," you will have to maintain some type of relationship with your former spouse. You will likely have some form of joint custody arrangement, sharing legal and physical custody with your former spouse and that will be easier if you part on civil terms.
Child custody decisions involve a lot of questions. The guidepost should be the best interests of the child, but many parents may wonder what that means in the context of their divorce. After all, they choose to get married and they probably thought it in their best interests and still, there they are, in a Missouri family court, asking a judge to dissolve their marriage.
Time is a precious commodity. As any parent knows, there are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a week. It can seem impossible to get everything that needs to be done within those confines. This is one reason why you and your children's other parent should work out a cooperative parenting plan for your child custody agreement.
Missouri is still debating changes to the custody laws, with the potential for mandating "equal time" for fathers during a divorce. And Missouri is not alone. Legislatures in multiple states are considering changes to custody laws that make it easier for fathers to receive more time with their children.
The 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 potential effect of divorce on children causes many people here in Columbia to pause before they consider that legal solution. Various studies over the years have suggested some children of divorced parents may not do as well as those of non-divorced parents. This leads many to decry divorce as detrimental to children.