Dealing with any legal matter can be emotionally exhausting and challenging. Whether your legal matter involves a divorce or dissolution of marriage, spousal maintenance, paternity action, or child support/custody matter, it can take a toll on each individual, both mentally and physically.
One of the most challenging legal matters to deal with is child custody from every point of view: the parents, the children, and family members. Child custody cases can be emotionally taxing on each individual involved, especially the party that was not granted custody or that did not receive their desired parenting plan.
If you weren’t granted custody in your child custody case, you may be wondering if it’s a permanent arrangement or if you can regain custody of your child. The family law attorneys at The Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC have many decades of experience in family law including representing clients in child custody cases. Continue reading as we discuss if it’s possible to regain child custody.
How Does the Court Determine Who Gets Custody?
Before we discuss if it’s possible to regain child custody, let’s go over how the court determines how custody is decided. If you’re the mother, you may be wondering how the court could rule against you. Likewise, if you’re the father, you may be thinking that the court ruled against you because “they always award custody to the mother.” These misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth: custody is determined with the child’s best interest in mind before any other factor.
Most people assume that the mother will be awarded custody, however, it’s simply not true. The court doesn’t award custody based on a parent’s gender, nor do they determine custody awards based on the age of the child (which is often referred to as a “tender age presumption”). Judges in Missouri consider a number of factors when determining custody which include, but are not limited to, the parents’ respective wishes, the needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of the parents to encourage this, which parent is more likely to allow the other parent frequent and meaningful contact, how the child is interacts with the parents, siblings, and others, how the child is adjusting to his or her home, school, and community, the mental and physical health of all individuals involved (including any history of abuse or domestic violence), the intent of either party to relocate, as well as the child’s wishes.
There are also different types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal and physical custody are both decided with the child’s best interest in mind as previously mentioned. Missouri and Kansas have “joint legal custody” and “sole legal custody” as well as “joint physical custody” and “sole physical custody”. Regardless of the terminology, the parenting plan will most likely include visitation rights so the parent who wasn’t granted custody can still visit with their child.
Can I Regain Child Custody?
Not being awarded custody of a child or having less time with them can be a shock. The initial pain of the other parent being awarded custody can be excruciating, however, it’s not guaranteed that it’ll be permanent.
When the court initially ruled in favor of the other parent, they came to that decision with the child’s mental and physical well-being as the focal point. There were other factors, such as both parents’ living situations, how the child is doing in the community, and any history of abuse, among other things. While there were reasons why the judge awarded one parent custody or more parenting time than the other, but that doesn’t mean that can’t change in the future.
How Can I Regain Child Custody?
The first step to regaining child custody is to hire a family law attorney that is experienced with child custody cases. A family law attorney can help you understand what you need to do to be granted more custodial rights or parenting time. This may include changing your living arrangements, going to therapy, AA meetings, etc. Though it will take time and patience, all hope is not lost when it comes to getting more time with your children.
Once you hire a child custody attorney in Kansas City, you’ll be able to start the process of getting back custody. Your attorney will help you implement the changes in your life that will hopefully regain custody, or, if you’ve already made positive changes, your attorney will be able to help you file a motion to modify child custody and build a case to present to the court as to why you should be granted more custodial rights or parenting time.
While it may seem impossible to regain child custody, it can be done if changes are implemented and you hire an experienced child custody attorney. The family law attorneys at The Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC are dedicated to the practice of family law and can help guide you through the entire modification process keeping your best interests in mind. With over fifty-three years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is comprised of a team that’s skilled in both negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward.
We have offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Leawood, Kansas (consultations by appointment only). In addition to our two physical locations, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, and Platte County, Missouri as well as Johnson County, Kansas. Contact our family law firm today to schedule a consultation – we’re able to meet in person or face-to-face via Zoom.