The Law Office of Kurt H King

February 9, 2010

Shared Child Custody in Missouri–Will the Court Order it

A frequent question on family law in Missouri is will the Court order a shared custody plan where the parents alternate weeks with the children of the marriage/paternity relationship.

Speaking mainly as to experience with the Clay County Circuit Court setting in Liberty, Missouri–which other Missouri courts may or may not mirror on this issue–my take is that the court is likely to order such shared custody ONLY IF both parents agree that it is in the best interests of the children.  Of course, if a child is in school, then both parents are going to need to be close enough to the school to get the child to school without a long drive. 

If the court sees problems with shared custody for the child, it may decide not to order shared custody even if both parents think it is the best way to go.  (Sometimes a parent may agree to shared custody for the wrong reasons, i.e., to reduce child support, to win on some other issue, lacked the money to resist the other parent, etc.)

What if the parents do NOT agree that shared custody is best for the children?  Then my experience is there is a slim to none chance that the court will order shared custody for the children.  An explanation is that the court prefers a primary residential home base for the children, especially where the parents are not in agreement on working a shared custody plan.

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068

Bankruptcy, Child Custody and Support, Divorce and Modification, Family Law
Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

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