Children in divorce

What are custody options when parents divorce?

  • CUSTODY: Custody refers to issues regarding your children. There is legal custody and physical custody. In regard to parents having legal and physical custody, the custody can either be joint or sole. Here is what each means:
  • LEGAL CUSTODY: Who makes decisions for the kids?
  • SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY: One parent is given the right to make all decisions for the kids, like what doctors they see, or whether or not they will play baseball.
  • JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY: The parents must talk and arrive at decisions together for the kids. This is the preferred designation.


PHYSICAL CUSTODY: Where will the kids be spending their time?

  • SOLE PHYSICAL CUSTODY: The children live with one parent and rarely, or never, spend time with the other parent. Usually this arrangement only happens when there has been abuse, or when a parent is incarcerated, or cannot spend time with a child for some reason.
  • JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY: The child spends time with each parent. This does not necessarily mean equal time (in fact, it rarely does), just that the child spends time with mom and dad.
  • PARENTING PLAN: The legal document that governs the conduct of the mother and father with respect to the kids. It will specify the custody arrangement. Think of it as a contract for the benefit of the kids. Other points you will see in the parenting plan are: a) the specific time periods the kids will spend with each parent, b) where the kids spend any holidays, c) sharing of expenses for the kids for activities, d) who claims the kids on their taxes.

How is child support determined?

CHILD SUPPORT is a sum of money paid by one parent to the other to help with the costs of raising a child. It is based upon a number of factors including: a) the income of the parents, b) number of children, c) costs of health insurance, d) costs of daycare, and e) how much time each parent spends with the kids.


Parenting classes

  • Family Court 1111 Boonville, Suite 5 Springfield, MO 831-1505
  • BluePrints 1736 E Sunshine, Suite 309 Plaza Towers Springfield, MO 883-8400
  • Children First 1300 Bradford Parkway Burrell Center Springfield, MO 269-7275
  • FOCIS 1550 E. Battlefield, Suite A Galleria Shopping Center Springfield, MO 869-9011