When a couple chooses to divorce, one of the first questions asked is, “Who will get custody of our child?” Sadly, child custody is one of the toughest and most litigated issues in any divorce.
The best way for parents to handle custody of their child is to work together to make an agreement they can both support. The parents will avoid a long, expensive court battle, and it will spare their child from additional emotional turmoil. When parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding child custody, then a court must decide the outcome.
As in most states in the U.S, Missouri’s child custody laws follow the standard of what is in the “best interests of the child.” Each parent has an opinion about what is in a child’s best interest; however, what a parent believes or wants is only one factor that a court must consider. The court considers many different factors before any decision is made about child custody.
In family and custody law, the state of Missouri attempts to give each parent a completely unbiased chance at obtaining custody rights of their child. Missouri does not give preference to mothers. Missouri does not give preference in child custody decisions based upon the age or sex of the child.
According to Missouri child custody law, the court can consider several different types of custody arrangements. Again, the ultimate goal is to do whatever is in the best interests of the child. Some of the different types of custody are:
Both parents have an equal say in all matters regarding how they will raise their child. This can include decisions on education, health, religious beliefs, and other issues that affect the welfare of the child.
Physical custody determines the amount of time the child lives with each parent each year. It may not necessarily be equal amounts of time to be considered joint.
Joint legal custody to both parents with sole physical custody to one parent
Joint physical and legal custody to both parents
Joint physical custody to both parents and sole legal custody to only one
When one parent is awarded sole custody, the other parent is given visitation rights. Sometimes it’s necessary to have supervised visitation if there were instances of neglect or abuse.
Do not engage in verbal or physical confrontations with the other parent or your child at any time. Avoid talking to anyone negatively about the other parent, especially mutual friends. Don’t post anything online, in an email, text message, or anywhere else that you would be ashamed or embarrassed for a judge to hear or read.
If at all possible, refrain from dating and do not introduce a new love interest to your child during custody proceedings. Do not use the child as a pawn between you and the other parent. Above all, prove that you have the child’s best interest in mind first.
If you owe child support, pay child support on time. If you’re responsible for taking your child to a particular event, stick to your word. Do not neglect your responsibilities. You need to show you’re an active and vital part of your child’s everyday life and that you’ll provide continuity whenever possible. If you have an agreed-upon custody schedule or a temporary custody schedule, make sure you follow it. Do not ask the other parent or the court for time with your child and then fail to exercise that time.
You need to plan for how you intend to spend time with your child. You need to think realistically about the amount of time you can spend with your child and when you can actually exercise that time. You may have work commitments or professional responsibilities. Talk to your employer and see if your employer can provide you any flexibility in your work schedule. If your child is or will be attending school, you need to think about the arrangements you need to make to drop off or pick up your child from school. If you’re married and going through a divorce, you will most likely no longer spend holidays with your spouse. Think about a holiday schedule. Give some thought as to any holiday or special traditions you would like to continue
Divorce and custody cases are usually filled with animosity and a get-even mentality. Both parties are often filled with anxiety and nervousness. You need a lawyer who will keep you grounded while pursuing the best interests of you and your child.
Scott Hamblin works to provide reassurance to his clients. By explaining the process and the law, Scott will take the confusion and stress out of the case. At our firm, we provide a full support team to assist you. The goal is to work efficiently and save you time and money. If you and your ex are willing to work together, Scott can also assist with settlement negotiations and family law mediation to resolve situations without trial. This will provide a quicker and less emotional resolution for everyone, especially your child.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, then reach out and Scott can assist you in preparing for court and trial. Scott has more than twenty years of experience litigating cases. He has tried divorce and custody cases in numerous courts throughout Missouri.
A Jefferson City man faced DUI charges following a field sobriety test. Charges against the defendant were dropped after Scott successfully maintained the client’s claims that the test results were inaccurate. While the client initially appeared to be in a difficult situation, Scott was able to push investigators to determine the sobriety test results as invalid, so the charges were dismissed.
A mother was seeking sole custody of her children following a divorce. The father refused to cooperate, leaving the client in a difficult situation as she felt as though her children didn’t have a voice. Scott recognized her need for an advocate and carefully listened to the children’s wishes, which conclusively helped the client achieve sole custody of her children and protected their best interests.
A client from Fulton was accused of drug possession as a result of a home search. While drug charges may potentially be filed as a Class C felony involving severe consequences, Scott was able to help the client receive a reduced sentence. Ultimately, the client faced significantly smaller penalties compared to the initial charges.
Scott assisted a defendant in a particularly challenging divorce case in which the other spouse was not cooperating. Scott was able to help the client avoid court through an aggressive legal approach to resolve all outstanding disagreements while maintaining the client’s long-term needs.
One client sought legal assistance after an altercation with another individual in Jefferson City. The client was arrested on assault charges despite allegedly not starting the fight. Since an arrest can lead to life-altering penalties such as being terminated from employment and serving jail time, Scott was able to build a solid legal defense in the client’s favor and argued in favor of the client’s innocence.
A grandparent sought visitation rights to his grandchild after the parent tried to block him. Scott takes grandparents’ rights very seriously, and so he devised a strategy to help the grandparent set a visitation schedule. Scott developed a strategy to show that the child’s best interests were fulfilled through the grandparent’s ability to visit the child, helping push the case towards a resolution in the client’s favor.
Scott assisted a client who was injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. The defendant claimed that the opposing party using their phone at the time of the crash, and Scott emphasized this claim to show that the other driver was at fault for the client’s injuries. The case concluded with the client receiving the necessary compensation for medical bills following a long hospital stay due to injuries.
I have been working with Mr. Hamblin for almost one and a half years and consider him to be one of the finest Lawyers I have ever done business with. Mr. Hamblin’s understanding of Missouri law is to say the least encyclopedic. His areas of expertise are broad and far-reaching. While working with Mr. Hamblin I found that he has an innate gift for what he does. His availability, presence in the courtroom, and demeanor with prosecutors, plaintiffs, witnesses and defendants are unparalleled in Missouri’s capital. Jefferson City is the epicenter of all legislation in this great state of Missouri,…
Scott was efficient and knew his stuff. Very thorough and committed to our family. He had worked on two different cases for us and did an excellent job. No regrets!
I called Mr. Hamblin to represent my family member. When we went in to have a meeting, Mr. Hamblin was very honest said he felt that he could represent him and help with the matter that he had been charged with. I was so glad that I had contacted Mr. Hamblin on this matter, because he did just what he said that he would do. He did so in a timely and professional matter, and the expense was very minimal considering that this could have been a life-changing matter. I want to say a big Thank you Mr. Hamblin for…
Very upfront and honest about the potential outcomes of my case.
Scott Hamblin represented my son in a high-profile case. Scott was highly professional throughout the course of the proceedings, prompt and thorough in answering all of our questions and, most importantly, was very prepared when he represented my son in the courtroom, which resulted in a very favorable outcome. Our family cannot thank Scott enough for a job well done and 5 stars is really not enough. He truly did a phenomenal job. I would have no reservations in recommending Scott should you ever need a criminal defense attorney.
Mr. Hamblin succeeded in winning a child custody modification case for me that most lawyers I spoke with wouldn't even take on. Many told me that modifying a child custody agreement was nearly impossible. Due to the changes at my children's Father's house and the toll it was taking on their mental health, my children needed this modification and were begging for a change. Mr. Hamblin helped give my children a voice and get what they call "A Christmas Miracle" when we won full custody of them a few days before Christmas. I would recommend his counsel to anyone needing…
I am so grateful that I hired him, he gave me hope to overcome my fear and anxiety. Now my case was dismissed because of his hard work. Thank you so much Attorney Scott. May God bless you, and keep continuing to save people's lives!!!
There are no words to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to be represented by Mr. Hamblin. I have enjoyed working with him and his assistant, especially through some of the most challenging moments of my life. Selecting someone to handle your case can be a very difficult decision to make, but even from the moment I arrived at the office for my consultation, I knew I had found the right attorney. Thank you so much for a positive outcome, Mr. Hamblin!
I got stuck between a rock and a hard place in my situation as was in need of help. Scott was appointed to be via public defender for a federal case and I could not have wished for a better lawyer and overall individual. He would show up for me while I was incarcerated on the weekend when he had time and would also work around my work schedule to meet while I was not incarcerated. He extensively researched my case and talked to me like a human rather than another client. He's very kind and will tell you the…
Scott is a very compassionate but honest man. I have known Scott for 10+ years. I met him while fostering children with Cole County Children's Division. When he became the adoption lawyer for Cole County Children's Division in 2007 my husband and I were one of the first to use him to become adoptive parents to our then two-year-old foster son. Our son just turned 13 years old this year. In 2013, he represented my husband and me to get guardianship for our foster daughter. We are beyond blessed to have such a great guy like Scott to represent us.…
For accessible and experienced representation, contact attorney Scott Hamblin today.