Child custody is almost always a difficult topic in a Missouri family court. After all, what is the "best interests" of the child? Each parent may have an idea, but given the environment of a divorce, they may not coincide. And the judge has only the information provided by the parties to base his or her opinion.
While studies suggest that shared parenting can benefit a child in some cases, it is difficult to extrapolate that it will work well in all cases. There has been a movement to require that all child custody be presumptively 50/50, and North Dakota voters just rejected such a ballot initiative.
For parents who desire a shared child custody role post divorce, a good way to demonstrate the viability of such an agreement is to create a parenting plan. In Missouri, as many states, hard and fast custody rules have been changed to require parents to develop a parenting plan.