A complex Missouri divorce is draining for everyone involved, especially if each parent wants sole custody of the children or one parent demands at least joint custody. The team at Turken & Porzenski, L.L.C., has experience helping clients navigate the turbulent nature of child custody and visitation.

Although courts do not automatically award custody to the mother, you still may have an uphill battle when fighting for visitation and custody rights. VeryWell family has assembled tips to help fathers prepare when filing for full or joint custody.

  • Making consistent support payments is at the top of the requirements list. Even if the arrangement is informal, you should keep making payments on the agreed upon schedule. Maintain records, keep proof of cashed checks, transferred amounts and any correspondence to corroborate you are upholding the agreement.
  • If there is an agreed upon parenting plan that contains a visitation schedule, stick to it. If there is nothing in place, develop one for submission to the court. This signals that you take responsibility to your children seriously
  • Spend time with your children and participate in their lives. Attend school functions, speak with their teachers and coaches and know their friends. If you spend most of their time with you working or pursuing your own activities without your children, they will likely side to stay with their mother when asked about their preferences by the court.
  • Be honest with yourself about your capabilities. If you have responsibilities that keep you away from home or traveling frequently, pushing for joint or full custody may not work well for you or your children.

Consider mediation or arbitration as an alternative to a court hearing. The atmosphere is friendlier and may help settle the situation amicably. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.