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9.7Susan M. Hais

When it comes to child custody, the court system believes that it is typically in the best interests of a child to maintain a relationship with both of their parents. It is this belief that often pushes a court’s decision towards joint custody where both parents share the decision-making rights for a child and will have significant shared physical custody of a child. However, there are times when sole custody is awarded to one parent, leaving the other not quite knowing where they stand.

While it can differ in other states, in Missouri sole custody means that one parent maintains both physical custody and the decision-making rights for their child. What this means for the other parent is that they are not required for any religious, health, legal, or educational decision made for their child. Furthermore, unless specific visitation agreements are made in the child custody case, they have no legally-binding physical time that they can spend with their child.

Again, sole custody is often reserved for cases where one parent is not fit to provide the best environment for their child. If one parent has a drug problem or a record for domestic violence, the courts may agree to award sole custody to the other parent. If the non-custody holding parent makes significant strides in improving their situation, they may be able to seek a modification of child custody later.

If you are a parent that is looking at a custody case for your child, and you are facing sole custody in either direction, contact us today. The Law Office of Hais, Hais, & Goldberger are dedicated to helping dedicated parents so that your child is put in the best possible situation.