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Ending a marriage is often a difficult and emotional process. What can sometimes make an already challenging process more difficult is when children are involved in the mix. For some divorcing parent in Missouri, it can be hard to see eye-to-eye when it comes to deciding on child custody. Thus, it is important to understand what custody could look like and what type of an arrangement each parents believes is the best for the child.

What are the different types of child custody? The first type of custody to explore is physical custody. This refers to which parent has the right to have the child live with them. In some cases, joint physical custody is awarded in cases where the child will reside with both parents for significant periods of time. Physical custody can also be sole, meaning that a child resides with one parent while the other parent receive visitation rights.

There is also legal custody, which refers to the legal authority to make major life decisions for the child. This typically includes decisions involving the education, health and upbringing of the child. It is often the case that joint legal custody will be awarded; however, some parents could obtain sole legal custody.

In cases where it is proven that a parent is unfit to parent a child, sole custody may be awarded. If it is shown that a parent has financial, drug or alcohol problems, this could be used to show they are unfit. Additionally, in cases where domestic violence occurred, sole legal and physical custody might be viewed as being in the best interest of the child.

Working through a custody battle can be challenging. Family law matters often induce many emotions, especially when it turns into a high conflict dispute. No matter the situation or the issues not in agreement, it is important that divorcing parents understand their rights and options when it comes to establishing child custody.