Child Custody & Support

One of the most stressful and emotional aspects of any divorce is the issue of children. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this challenging time and explain the guidelines the court uses regarding child support and child custody matters.

Child Custody
Child custody has two distinct types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is the duty to provide day-to-day care of a child and the right to direct the child's daily activities. Legal custody is the rights and responsibilities associated with decisions regarding the child's upbringing.

Many parents work together to find ways to raise the child(ren) jointly. Family courts encourage this as much as possible, provided the parents can provide the appropriate environment. Child custody arrangements take many forms, including joint custody, sole custody and temporary custody. If an agreeable custody arrangement by both parents cannot be reached, custody will be determined by the family court.

Parents who have children outside of marriage, and end up in court, often have many of the same issues as in ordinary divorce cases. The law contains a separate set of procedures to handle the initial phase of such cases, such as to establish paternity. Thereafter, the procedures and rules relating to custody and support are identical to those used by courts in a divorce case.

Child Support
Family law attorneys help people secure child support, enforce child support orders and request modifications of existing child support and custody orders. While specific child support orders can vary, child support usually consists of a structured monthly payment until the child(ren) named in the order reach the age of majority, usually 18 years old or 21 years old.

The court uses a specific calculation to determine the dollar amount of a child support order. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that all income is disclosed when determining child support. Often, a parent may attempt to hide his/her income in order to reduce the amount of child support ordered, particularly if that parent is a business owner or receives much of his/her compensation in cash, such as tips.

Attorney Jim Knappenberger offers a full range of legal services to individuals and businesses throughout the greater Eastern Missouri area including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Franklin County, Jefferson County, Warren County, Lincoln County, Gasconade County and other counties throughout Eastern Missouri.

Contact an experienced St. Louis lawyer committed to your legal needs. Call attorney Jim Knappenberger today to schedule a FREE initial consultation without obligation and learn how the law applies to your specific situation.

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