Misconceptions about noncustodial parents
There is a misconception that noncustodial parents in Missouri and throughout the country don’t care about their children. However, not having custody of a son or daughter doesn’t mean that a parent doesn’t play a significant role in that child’s life. In many cases, he or she will have visitation rights and provide for the child financially. It is possible that a custodial parent will pay child support to the noncustodial parent.
There is also a misconception that all noncustodial parents are fathers, but depending on the facts in a case, a father could win joint or sole custody of a son or daughter. Regardless of whether a parent has custody of a child or not, he or she is considered a single parent. Typically, noncustodial parents are solely responsible for meeting a child’s needs during overnight or other extended visits.
While some parents voluntarily give up custody of their kids, this is not always true. Even if a parent does voluntarily give up custody, it may be an effort to do what is best for the child. For example, it may not make sense for a person who works odd hours or lives far away from a child to have physical custody. In some cases, parents can be afforded legal custody of their children despite not having physical custody.
The best interests of the child are generally the top priority when developing a parenting plan. While the state generally prefers that parents share custody, this may not always work. However, an attorney may be able to help an individual obtain generous visitation and other rights to a child. Parents may help themselves by overcoming a substance abuse program or taking classes to help them provide their children with a quality upbringing.