Child custody disputes are difficult for everyone who is involved. They are not easy for parents in Missouri, who may become forced to rely on judges to determine what is best for their families. Prolonged custody battles can also wear on children, as they rest at the center of the controversies.
In the UK, one father has been fighting for visitation rights for about 12 years. The man has a 14-year-old daughter, and his ex-partner has refused to allow him to see the girl since the couple broke up in 2001.
The man recently spoke to the Daily Mail, lamenting that his relationship with his daughter has all but slipped away as the custody dispute has continued to drag on for more than a decade.
According to the news report, over the years 82 orders have been issued to provide the father with visitation rights, but these orders have not been enforced. The mother, who has been accused of drug and alcohol abuse, has simply refused to allow contact between the father and daughter.
Here in the states, the courts aim to resolve child custody disputes quickly in order to minimize any trauma to children. In St. Louis, family law courts favor joint custody, however fathers do still often face uphill battles. This is because the overall goal of the courts is to serve the best interests of children, and many fathers do not have records of serving as a primary caretakers.
Fathers who are fighting for full or joint custody in Missouri should seek legal counsel as well as strive to become caretakers and develop close relationships with their children. The stakes are very high in child custody disputes, and time should not be wasted.
Source: Daily Mail, “Father with no rights: Mother stops him seeing daughter for 12 YEARS – despite 82 court orders demanding she back down,” Ben Spencer, Dec. 8, 2013