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Is joint custody always awarded pursuant to a divorce?

Families that undergo the stresses of divorce understand that different factors will have different impacts on how individual cases are resolved. In Missouri and other jurisdictions throughout the nation, matters related to the custody of children will turn on how courts can best serve those children's interests. As such, parents may witness different child custody outcomes when their divorces move through the family law courts of the state.

In some cases, parents may be able to work together and share in the physical and legal custody of their children. While physical custody covers the decision of where a child will live, legal custody covers the right of a parent to be involved in the decision-making process of raising their child. These parents may be granted joint custody of their children and may share both their physical and legal custodial responsibilities.

Similarly, a court may split the parents' custodial rights if such action may support their kids' needs. If moving between the homes of their parents is disruptive to the children, a court may order that one parent have sole physical custody of their kids while both parents retain legal custody over them. A parent who does not maintain physical custody of their kids may get visitation time with them, if the court allows it. Finally, if a parent is detrimental to their child's welfare, a court may order that the other parent retain sole physical and legal custody of their kids.

As readers can tell, different child custody outcomes can occur based on factors that are relevant to individual family law cases. Readers should talk to their own attorneys about what to expect when their child custody hearings occur.

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