Coming To A Custody Agreement That Is Best For The Child

At Scherich Family Law, we prioritize finding collaborative and effective solutions for every family in the Kansas City metro area. Our attorneys understand the challenges facing families going through a transition. We firmly believe the days of fiercely battling for sole custody are over, and the divorce agreements that best benefit your children are made through mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Our lawyers help guide you through the separation process, working with you to ensure your child is kept at the heart of your agreement.

Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Oftentimes, child custody is the most contentious part of a family law case. Many of our clients have questions relating to child custody and parenting plans for their children. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions we hear:

  • What is the difference between physical and legal custody? Physical custody involves the amount of time each parent spends with the child, while legal custody determines who makes parental decisions on behalf of the child. Child custody as a whole involves both of these components, which can be granted solely to one parent or jointly to both parents.
  • How can I get sole custody of my child? Nowadays, sole custody is extremely difficult to get. The reason is that joint custody, in some capacity, is often presumed to be in your children's best interests. A more collaborative parenting environment leads to a more prosperous childhood, and keeps your child out of the stress and conflict that often come with a contentious separation.
  • But my ex's house is dirty, they were a bad spouse, etc. Just because your ex was a bad partner does not mean they will be a bad parent. Even if their parenting style is different from your own, you should try your best to work in tandem to offer a more collaborative approach to parenting your child. Sole custody is often only rewarded in extreme circumstances such as when there are claims of severe abuse and neglect.
  • Do I need to establish paternity? If you are married and filing for divorce, the law presumes the parties are the legal parents of the child. If you are not married, you need to establish paternity in order for the father or non-birth giving parent to receive parenting rights, or for the other parent to receive child support.
  • Do I need to have a DNA test done? If both parents agree on who is biologically related to the child, a DNA test is often not necessary. Courts will typically only order a DNA test if one has been requested.
  • Is there any benefit to being the first to file a case? While many believe the first person to file receives some sort of preferential treatment, this is not the case. While the one filing gets the first say, the other party has a chance to respond, putting both parties on equal grounds.

Custody matters are complex, and may ultimately be decided by a family court judge. However, they will always decide based on the best interests of your child, and that often involves joint custody in some capacity.

For more tailored advice for your case-specific questions, contact our office in Shawnee for a free consultation. Call (913) 624-1699 today to schedule an appointment or reach out to us online.