Under Chapter 452 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, a written parenting plan is required for all child custody cases.
1 ) Parents have the choice of working together to develop a plan, which they then submit in unison to the court. If they cannot come to an agreement, they are allowed to submit separate plans. These parenting plans are then evaluated by a Judge who either selects one of the proposed plans, or creates a new one.
2 ) If the parents cannot come to a long-term agreement, they can develop a temporary parenting plan which could last until the divorce is final.
3 ) Parenting plans shall be filed with the court upon the first of the following events occurring :
a. 30 days of filing an entry of appearance; or
b. 30 days of service of process.
4 ) The parenting plan should include but is not limited to:
a. A communication plan between parents;
b. A detailed written custody and visitation schedule;
c. The transportation of the child/children for custody exchanges;
d. A dispute resolution procedure for those matters on which the parents disagree, or in interpreting the plan;
e. How parents will manage the health care coverage and costs of the child/children;
f. The suggested amount of child support; and
g. How all costs associated with the child/children will be divided.
5 ) The court takes several factors into consideration when determining which parenting plan best addresses the needs of the child. These factors include but are not limited to:
a. The parents’ wishes;
b. The child’s relationship with parents, siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
c. Past incidents of abuse or neglect, if there are any;
d. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the other parent;
e. The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school and community; and
f. Wishes expressed by the child regarding their primary caregiver.
To best understand parenting plans in Missouri, you should seek the guidance of an experienced and compassionate St. Louis Divorce Lawyer. With over 30 years of experience serving the areas of Chesterfield, Ballwin, and Wildwood, Missouri, Attorney Jay Galmiche has the knowledge to help you pursue the best results for your family and you. He personally handles your case, giving you the individual attention that you need beginning with your first free initial consultation.