By far some of the most important — and stressful — matters that our clients have to deal with are those involving their children. Matters involving children can be contentious, however our attorneys believe that children of divorce are the most important issue and that it is important for our clients to maintain family relationships and ongoing cooperation if at all possible.
Thilges & Bernhardt, Attorneys at Law, LLC we take the same approach to custody as the courts take: The best interests of your children are our focus. Our lawyers help clients maintain that focus on the children, and work with the other parent if possible to ensure that their well-being is of utmost concern. Court is seen as a last resort.
However, if necessary, we will go to court on your behalf to protect your rights relating to your children.
Protecting Family Relationships
Many different terms are used when speaking of the decisions you will have to make for your children, including child custody, visitation, parenting time and parenting plans. These terms refer to where your children will live, who will make decisions about them and who will be able to have visitation with them.
Although there are some differences in the statutes and guidelines followed by courts in each state, both Kansas and Missouri place an emphasis on maintaining the relationship of the child with both parents.
This does not necessarily mean that the children will live with both parents an equal amount of time. They may live with one parent most of the time, split their time equally, or some other arrangement that works for your family and your children. We can be flexible and creative to ensure that your family's — and most importantly, your child's — unique needs are met.
When helping you decide matters of custody and parenting time, our attorneys will discuss:
- The wishes of both parents
- The child's need to maintain contact with both parents, as well as siblings and extended family
- The wishes of the child, if old enough
- The quality of the child's life at home and school
- The parents' ability to cooperate and not interfere in the child's relationship with his or her other parent
- The physical and mental health of the parents
- Any history of domestic violence
- Any plans to relocate