Child Custody Lawyer in Kansas City

Child Custody

As a family law matter, issues of custody involving children are often emotionally driven, with both parents feeling as though they should have more time with the child than the other parent. The child custody attorneys with The Bright Family Law Center understand how difficult this time can be and are ready to assist you in handling your family matters.

Our Kansas City law firm is dedicated to safeguarding your legal rights while protecting the best interests of your children. Our Kansas City, MO family law attorneys provide the time needed to completely understand your circumstances and goals for your child support, domestic violence case, custody situation, and many other family law matters.

Your local Kansas City family law attorney at Bright Family Law Center will offer necessary solutions to decrease the animosity between parents.

Photo of a Child Playing with Toy

Our Missouri Lawyers Represent Clients in Kansas City for Many Legal Issues in the Family Law Realm

Whether you are facing divorce or other life transitions after a breakup, we can help. When a couple divorces and has children under the age of 18, a divorce case typically involves custody orders and care for the minor children.

Kansas City courts utilize a parenting plan to outline the responsibilities and rights of each parent. Your custody lawyer Kansas City can help you draw up a parenting plan that covers a variety of matters but primarily will resolve parenting time, residency, and legal custody.

Parenting Time

Parenting time outlines the time in which each parent gets to spend with the child. This time provides the divorced parents with the children’s daily schedule (i.e. weekends with one parent and weekdays with the other parent) as well as the parent who will spend which school vacations and holidays with the child.


This term is used to discuss where a child will live most of the time. “Residential custody” or  “primary placement” may also be used to refer to residency location. The parent who is granted with the majority of residency time is called the residential parent. The other parent is referred to as the non-residential parent. 

Legal Custody 

The right to make long-term key decisions about the child and his or her welfare is known as legal custody. Legal custody is the authority and power to make decisions on matters relating to the child’s religious instruction, education, medical care, and similar matters. A parent who holds sole legal custody is the only parent entitled to make decisions on behalf of the child. A parent that holds joint legal custody shares the decision-making ability with the child’s other parent. 

Courts make decisions on parenting time and child custody matters based on what they feel is in the best interest of the child. The family law attorneys with The Bright Family Law Center help clients fully understand what factors the judge will consider when deciding and how the facts will be evaluated in the divorce matter. 

Our Kansas City child custody lawyers work closely with our clients to better understand their personal needs, the needs of the children, and the family dynamic to help them develop a parenting plan that suits their individual situations and will meet the approval of the court. Our legal team aims to provide resolutions to families that work long-term and short-term so that clients can focus on the needs of their family instead of family court litigation.

Kansas City Child Custody Without Divorce

Unmarried parents often retain legal counsel for help in establishing legal custody for the father and for establishing parenting time for both the mother and father. Our Kansas City child custody attorneys also help those needing help with visitation for grandparents, guardianships, and similar issues.

Unmarried Parents

A judge will enter a parenting plan to establish the appropriate rights and responsibilities of unmarried parents, but not before paternity is established. A father or mother may bring forth a paternity action to the court by filing a paternity petition. Providing child support, scheduling parenting time, and child custody can all be established during the paternity action. The Bright Family Law Center’s paternity and child custody attorneys help fathers and mothers with filing and defending paternity actions in the Kansas City metro area.

Grandparent Rights

Grandparent Rights. Oftentimes, when parents separate or divorce, grandparents can become worried about how the relationship with their grandchildren will change. Sometimes, parents will keep their children from their ex-spouse’s family. 

Similar concerns can arise after a minor’s parent faces an untimely death. Kansas City law allows the court to grant visitation rights to a grandparent under both of these circumstances. 

Grandparent rights attorneys at The Bright Family Law Center regularly help clients navigate these issues. We assist grandparents wishing to establish visitation rights with their grandchildren or modify current visitation plans, as well as representing parents seeking to eliminate, challenge, or limit grandparent rights.

Legal Guardians

When a court finds that a parent is unable to provide a minor child with basic necessities, or is no longer able to make the important decisions regarding the welfare of the child, they may appoint a legal guardian to take the role. Guardianship may be permanent or temporary.

Our guardianship attorneys represent individuals and family members looking to establish guardianship for minor children and we also represent the parents’ interest in guardianship and other family law cases.

Photo of Mother and Child

Child Custody and Family Law Matters FAQ

If the parents are not married, who has custody of the child?

In Kansas City, when parents are not married, sole custody is automatically granted to the mother giving her full parental rights unless the establishment of paternity has been made. Paternity can be established in a paternity case by the court or voluntarily by both parents.

If the mother and father have both signed affidavits acknowledging paternity, recognizing that paternity has been established. 

Can a mother lawfully keep a child away from the father?

There are certain circumstances in which one parent is allowed to keep the child away from the other parent. It is possible to do so if the court has entered an order to terminate parental custody of the child due to child abuse in the home. The parent with remaining rights can legally keep the child away from their abusive parent. This decision must be left to the court, which will determine if keeping the child away from the abusive parent is in the best interest of the child.

The mother is the only legally recognized parent of the child if paternity has not already been established. Therefore, the father has no legal right to see the child. In this situation, a mother has the legal right to keep the child from the father unless he chooses to establish paternity through the court system.

Can a father lawfully take a child away from the mother in Kansas City, Missouri?

If paternity has been established or the parents are married, both parents have equal and free access to the child unless the court has determined otherwise. After a court order determining parenting time and custody, one parent is unable to take away a child from the other parent. In some custody cases, violating a court order or taking a child away from the other parent may be considered “parental abduction”, also known as kidnapping.

Contact Our Child Custody Attorneys in the Kansas City Area and Surrounding Counties to Discuss All Family Law Issues

Whether you and your family are facing a divorce, struggling through a custody dispute, or needing assistance establishing or modifying child custody, the Kansas City child custody lawyers at The Bright Family Law Center can help. 

We are here to guide you through the legal process, provide knowledge and understanding in matters of paternity, guardianship, and grandparents rights, divorce services, spousal support and property division issues, prenuptial agreements and more. 

For assistance with all your child custody needs in Jackson County, contact our law office  today via our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate family lawyers.

Kansas City Practice Areas