Missouri Child Custody Questions & Answers

Q: Father moved out of state almost 4 years ago...child, 16, now states he want to move too.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 14, 2019
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
As an attorney, I think there are lots of questions I would ask you before being able to really get an opinion. But before you jump into analyzing the custody factors, in a motion to modify you have to start with whether or not he can get his foot in the door - so to speak. The "8 factor test" refers to the 8 factors the court must consider when determining custody of a child found in 452.375 RSMo. But once custody is determined (as in your case), then the parent asking for a change must first...

Q: My fiancé’s kids’ father moved out of state and has not contacted them in months. Is this considered abondonment

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Apr 3, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
You and the children's mother will need to be married for six months before you can seek adoption. After that, talk to an adoption attorney local to you to assist you.

Q: How can I do new custody agreement outside of court and then have it placed on record?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 26, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
No, if you want an official, enforceable order from the court; you would have to file a Motion to Modify, and after your ex has been served, set a court for an uncontested trial in which one or both of you go in to confirm that you agree to the plan. You may, however, ignore all of this and simply change the parenting schedule among yourselves without filing anything; but this plan would not be enforceable should one of you become uncooperative down the road.

Q: Unmarried. Undeclared father has children and will not return them. Police will not assist me (mother) to get them.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Litigation and Domestic Violence for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 20, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
If there are no court orders giving him custody of the children, then yes, you can go get them. It's a civil issue because it is handled by the civil and domestic courts. Police generally don't like to get involved in domestic matters. So unless he is physically restraining you from the property withholding the children from you, the police probably won't be much help; at least not until after you've made and attempt to retrieve the children yourself.

Depending on your situation, you...

Q: Girlfriend signed an acknowledgement of her ex as father to her child, she now wants custody. What's the best approach?

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 12, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
Yes, that is correct. Unless the parents are married when the child is born, mom has all the rights to the child until the father's rights are declared in court. Custody issues can be tricky so have the mother contact an attorney local to her to assist her in the matter.

Q: Does Missouri recognize triparenting?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 25, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
While your roommate can assist you, and your boyfriend in raising the children, you cannot have have more than two legal custodians for a child.

Q: Hello. I'm needing to know what rights noncustodial parent has when child has been moved out of state without consent?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 14, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
Your rights are entirely dependent on your marital status to the custodial parent and if there has been a previous court order that the other parent might be violating. There's not enough information here to give and adequate answer, so I highly recommend you speak to a family attorney in your area.

Q: which county court to file child custody modification?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 4, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
Unless all parties have moved from the previous jurisdiction, a modification is proper in the county which issued the previous decision.

Q: Our daughter been missing since 7-17-18. Her son has always lived with us. The other grandparents took him. Won't bring

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 3, 2019
Christopher Fink's answer
You will need to file a Petition for Guardianship. The burden of proof will be on you to prove that both parents are unfit, unable and unwilling to provide for the child, which it sounds like you certainly can prove. Then the court considers the best interests of the child as to the proper guardian.

Q: My husband and his ex wife have joint custody over their children together. Can his Daughter live with us?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 3, 2019
Christopher Fink's answer
There are several factors the court will use in forming a parenting plan that is in the child's best interest, including the wishes of the child. There is not a statutory age in which a minor child gets to choose where she lives, however as the child matures, the Court will certainly consider the child's wishes and the reasons behind those wishes. So even though a 12 year old says they want to live with Parent A or Parent B, the more important question is what are the child's motivations to...

Q: I filed for divorce in TN from my husband, and then moved to Missouri. What are my next steps to dissolve the union?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 1, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
Depending on when your husband was served, the time for him to respond may not be over yet. If the court hasn't provided a date for you, you can contact them and ask for a court date to be set. It will be easier if you have an attorney do this for you, especially considering your distance from the jurisdiction. I would encourage you to contact an attorney in Tennessee to assist you.

Q: im 17 and living on my own in MO. my mom is saying she can put me in a mental hospital until im 21.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 31, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
You can't put anyone in psychiatric facility if they are mentally stable; it's a doctor's call to admit someone for treatment, not a parent's decision because they're mad at their kid. It just doesn't work like that. She can however, report you as a runaway and send you to juvenile detention. I would encourage you to speak to an attorney about seeking emancipation, if you've been supporting yourself for six months, you would qualify.

Q: My sister is 16, and my mom attacked her hitting her in the face with her phone and my sister pushed her into the tv.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 28, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
If your mom tried to report it, it sounds more likely that your sister would be placed into a foster home instead of detention. If you are over 18, then you could be considered a placement option for your sister, so long as you can support yourself and her. Report the event to social services ASAP.

Q: Ex and I have a court ordered custody agreement. She’s refusing to give him to me on my days. Can she lose her rights?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 26, 2019
Christopher Fink's answer
Your first step may be to file a Family Access Motion. This is a potential self help remedy as you do not necessarily need an attorney to file the motion. The court will expedite a hearing and can grant make up time and can impose a financial penalty to her. However, if you want to modify custody, you'll need to actually file a Motion to Modify Child Custody and you will need to hire an attorney unless you know how to represent yourself.

Whether the Court will modify the parenting...

Q: Divorcing we have a 6 year old and 1 year old together. If non-custodial how many days a week/month can I see kids?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 17, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
There is no minimum or maximum amount of time a non-residential parent may be allowed to see his or her children. The court's take the parents' schedules and relationships with the children into consideration; and sometimes it depends on the judge's personal preferences. Many judges and jurisdictions are now moving towards some form of 50/50 as their default, so if you want mid-week or daily visits, ask the court for them. Also, keep in mind that most judges will approve an agreement the...

Q: If i have a temporary custody agreement, to see my son every other weekend, what can i do when she doesn't show up?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
You can file a family access motion with the court to get the court to impose sanctions on her and grant you make up time for the lack of contact. If the problem persists, you may need to speak to an attorney to seek a Modification of custody so that you have primary residence with the child.

Q: My sons father pays child support threw the state. But has not seen my son in 3 years. Is that considered abandonment?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
The first thing to do would be to ask the biological father if he would contest your husband's adoption of your son. If not, then an adoption would be very straightforward. If he would contest the adoption, then you a court would have to evaluate the strength or the parent -child relationship before making the decision to severe the biological father's paternal rights. Either way, talk to a family and adoption law attorney local to you to assist you in the process.

Q: Where do I go to get temporary custody of my son. My ex has him an he's not on the birth certificate.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
Who gave your ex temporary custody? If it was the Court, then you need to follow the Court's orders and make sure to attend all of the other appearances to work out the case. However, if there is no order regarding custody, and the two of you were unmarried at the time the child was born; then the mother is the only one with rights over the child. You can simply go and pick up your son.

Q: My ex has sole custody of our kids. I'm paying CS but found out the kids don't live w/ him now? Options?

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
Child support is to assist the parent actually caring for the child, if your ex is not housing the children, then there is no reason for him to be the recipient of the support. You will still owe support, but can have it redirected to the household's actually caring for the children, and sometimes to the children themselves. Talk to an attorney in the county where the original judgment was filed to assist you.

Q: Is it illegal when a minor doesn't do any kind of schoolwork, and the parent doesn't do much about it?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Lydia Seifner's answer
While parents not enforcing homework, is not illegal, or abusive; the rest of what you describe is abusive. Contact your local social services about the child's situation.

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