A new law, formerly known as House Bill 1550, which takes effect Sunday, August 28, could impact child custody cases in Missouri.According to Jeremy Roberts with the Missouri Fathers’ Rights Movement, beginning Sunday, family courts will be required to answer eight questions to determine a custody arrangement in the best interest of the child. Questions consider which parent the child wishes to live with as well as the mental and physical health of all parties.
“Prior to this law, the courts could or could not answer those questions. This bill forces them to have to answer each one of those,” Roberts said.
More than 80 percent of child custody cases in Missouri default primary custody to the child’s mother, according to Linda Reutzel with the National Parents Organization of Missouri. Fathers are often granted visitation with their child one night each week and every other weekend.