Modification as to Custody
To modify a permanent award of custody, the court must find that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian, and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interest of the child. Such a finding must be based on facts which have arisen since the prior decree or upon facts which were unknown to the court at the time of the decree. When custody of children is once adjudicated, it is presumed that the custodian remains suitable.
Where the parties do not agree to a change of custody, and the child has not been consentingly integrated into the family of the non-custodial parent, a change of custody can only be accomplished by proving that the child is “endangered” in the current custodial environment. In practice, this means that there must be strong evidence in favor of the change of custody. Examples of such evidence are:
The best interest and welfare of the child continues to be the dominant factor in a court’s determination to modify a custody arrangement. There are many factors which the court can evaluate the best interest of the child, several situations follow, however, these are not limited:
In Missouri, child support is based on the combined income of the parents, the needs of the child, and the costs of child care and health insurance. In determining
A Missouri child support order can be modified only if there has been a “substantial and continuing change in
To calculate child support click this link or visit the Resource page of this website. If you would like to contact an attorney regarding a Modification of Custody, Visitation or child support, call James Piedimonte at 816-254-6477.
The standared to determine custody in the original action is different than a modification of custody. The measure in an original action, such as a dissolution or paternity case, is “What is in the best interests of the child.” The measure in a modification is a much higher standard, “a substanial and continuing change of circumstances since the original decree.”