After a divorce, both mothers and fathers in Missouri could be entitled to legal or physical custody rights to their children. Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability to make decisions about how the child will be raised. These decisions could include the type of medical treatment a son or daughter might get or where they will go to school. If a parent has physical custody of a minor, the child stays with that parent.
It is possible for parents to split physical or legal custody of a child. When making a custody decision, a court will weight any factors that might be relevant in a given case. For instance, the age and gender of a child may play a role in determining if a parent gets custody. If the child is old enough, he or she could be allowed to express a preference for one parent over the other.
The strength of the relationship between a parent and child will likely be considered by a judge when making a custody decision. Parents who are not granted custody rights to their children could be entitled to visitation. This is generally true whether the noncustodial parent is a male or female. Custodial parents are discouraged or prohibited from interfering with the relationship between their children and the noncustodial parent.
In most cases, gender plays little role in influencing a child custody decision. Fathers generally have the same rights as mothers when it comes to being a part of their children’s lives. An attorney may be able to convince a judge that a father is able to provide a safe and stable home for a child. Legal counsel may also show evidence that the other parent has engaged in parental alienation or other types of interference.