Family courts in Missouri might hesitate to grant a parent sole custody of a child. This action would place physical and legal custody in the hands of only one guardian. In such a situation, the other parent without custody will generally still have access to children in the form of visitation. However, they will lose the ability to make legal decisions concerning the children. This contrasts with joint custody that could grant both parents the right to make legal decisions for their kids.
Due to the serious nature of blocking a parent from having legal custody, a court will look for evidence to justify a request for sole custody. Extenuating circumstances, like persistent drug or alcohol abuse or domestic violence, could provide grounds to give someone sole custody. Judges look closely at what would be in the children’s best interests when coming to custody decisions. A parent who wants sole custody should be prepared to present evidence supporting the petition.
During a court hearing, a parent might improve the chances of making a good impression by dressing in dark and conservative clothing. It’s also wise to avoid interrupting courtroom room procedures or making angry outbursts.
An attorney could provide valuable family law advice to any parent who must appear in front of a child custody judge. In order to help secure a successful ruling, the parent may need to gather documentation of providing support. An attorney could organize this and other evidence that indicates the parent and child enjoy a close relationship.