Legal Question in Family Law in Missouri

children's rights

Can a child petition the court for a change of legal custody? DO they have to be a certain age to do so if it is possible? There are two childeren invocled in this, ages 10and 1/2 and 13,both girls living with their father who was granted custody. The mother fought for custody but faced a family of lawyers who had political contacts in the system. The outcome of the custoday and divorce were not wanted by the mother or children. They are afraid of their father and since living with him for the last year, both are having a great deal of problems. The oldest child has been diagnosed wtih acute anxiety and panic attacks by her pediatrician. Both are exhibiting physical signs of depression stemming from seperating them from their mother. The father wanted custody so that he would not ''look bad'' or have to pay child support. He doesn't spend much time with them. Instead he relies on relatives to take care of them or elaves them alone quite freently. The children want a judge to listen to them so they can tell their story. Can you help?

Asked on 4/03/03, 12:55 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: children's rights

You may be able to file a Motion to Modify the original decree seeking a transfer of custody based upon the facts contained in your question. Given the nature of the issues involved, there will be no guarantee of any particular results and it could run into quite a bit of expense between the attorney's fees and the expert witness fees. However, I do handle matters such as this and I am not at all concerned that the other side involves a "family of lawyers" with connections in the system. Your children certainly can have their opinions heard by the judge, in chambers if appropriate and outside of the presence of either parent so that there will be no undue influence exerted upon them. If you would like to call me for a free telephone consultation at 314-727-2822, I would be glad to speak with you.

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Answered on 4/03/03, 2:44 pm

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