Child custody cases can bring a lot of emotion. In many cases, there can be hard feelings. The parents might be pitted on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of what they believe is in the best interests of their children. In some rare cases, the parents might believe that the environment at the other parent’s home is detrimental.
In determining custody and visitation, in Missouri and Illinois, courts are to look at the best interests of the children when considering multiple factors. In the Missouri child custody statute, one factor says this: “Which parent is to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent.” In Illinois, the child custody statute has a similar language that says: “The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.” In other states, the language can be similar.
What does this mean in terms of child custody cases? Obviously, there are various factors that a court must look at in determining what’s in the best interest of a child. However, this is one important factor that the court is to at least consider. Parents going through a contested custody case must keep this in mind.
This can create a quandary in cases for some parents where there are hard feelings and lots of emotions. It can also be a dilemma where one parent believes the environment may be harmful to the other parent’s residence. In these cases, a parent must be careful that they are weighing what is important very carefully.
Obviously, if a parent can prove the environment at the other parent is truly harmful, the court might be understanding of that parent’s concerns. On the other hand, a parent who denies another access and/or visitation to the children can be looked upon negatively as it relatives to custody determinations. It also means that parents who are not able to put aside their own emotions and hard feelings toward the other parent in cases where there are no health or safety issues, and who don’t encourage a close relationship with the other parent and the child, could end up being looked upon negatively by a court in determining child custody awards.
If you are going through a child custody matter, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. You can contact us at 1-855-805-0595