St. Louis Child Custody Lawyers

Our firm’s primary goal regarding any child custody dispute is to protect their interests first.

Sadly, children are often brought into strife as parents struggle to cope with the shifting roles in their children’s lives. Regarding issues involving children, our law firm’s priority is to ensure they are kept as far away from the conflict as possible.

St. Louis mother and son
The Betz Law Firm
Based on 30 reviews
review us on
The Betz Law Firm assisted my son with legally changing his name. They were extremely easy to work and very helpful!!!
David Betz and Debbye Lasky were both wonderful to work with and accomplished what I needed done.
David was very professional and helpful for our child during a recent litigation. I would highly recommend his firm for GAL service or attorney service!
Fair Guardian Ad Litem who has walked a tightrope of a custody case
I was very impressed with Mr. Betz’s service. He was the GAL for my children. He was very professional, fair-but-caring and advocated tireless for the children’s best interests. He took his time to talk to them about their wishes, giving us sound advice and guided us through an otherwise contentious process. I appreciated his professionalism, ethics and would highly recommend him.
My son and I have worked with David Betz for several years in custody matters concerning my grandson. I have found him to be genuinely concerned with our situation and responsive to our needs. He listens carefully and handles matters promptly. He is realistic in evaluating situations and helps us to arrive at the best possible alternatives. I highly recommend him for family law matters.
I am a transfeminine nonbinary person that used The Betz Firm to get my name changed. They were extremely affirming, and excited to work with me through this as it was an immensely huge deal for me. Thank you Betz Firm, for making this a reality for me!
Joel and David are extremely helpful and helped with everything I needed. They are kind and worked with me with all of my needs regarding my case! I would recommend to everyone!
David was phenomenal in helping me secure protection and safety for myself and my daughter during the divorce and custody case. We ultimately prevailed at the end with 100% custody and a judgement in favor of the petitioner for support, with heavy stipulations in place for visitation. David by your side in the courtroom is a sure fire win. Place your bets on Betz!
David was super helpful in getting all of my questions answered. He was kind and patient while I explained the situation I was dealing with, and outlined numerous options and avenues that I had as choices. He didn't sugar coat things and was honest where he thought struggles would appear in the case, and talked through best and worst case scenarios. He also was nice enough to offer additional phone calls if more questions came up while choosing how to move forward with the case. I would highly recommend talking to David about your case if you need a family lawyer, as it's obvious that he is kind, and extremely knowledgeable about family law and the complications it can involve.
The Betz Firm has handled all of our family law needs. They are an impressive team to work with and they have the ability to find the best solution for their clients.
I have all the world to say about this man. He helped me piece my life back together.
David Betz took the time to answer all of my questions and was very kind, thoughtful, considerate, and most importantly of all knowledgeable. I very much appreciated his time and help!
The staff is very professional and friendly and comforting to their clients (the children). They definitely put us all at ease during an uncomfortable time.David himself is very easy to talk to, and both of my kids really liked him. I am very impressed with their involvement in our case. He has been easy to work with and good at getting back to us in a timely manner with issues regarding our case.I would highly recommend his office to anyone in need of legal help for their children.10 months later...I wanted to add, we have been in this case for 22 months and it’s about to wrap up. David has been amazing. My 16 year old daughter had kind of lost her faith in the system and in adults - David really worked with her and helped hold her accountable, but also gave her a voice, great advice, and really won her over. She really trusts him. When she was struggling, she would ask to call David. When I was struggling with her, I would threaten to call David and she would become more agreeable. She really trusts and respects him. Which for me, takes a unique skill set. Not everyone can get an unhappy teen to comply and also still keep their trust and respect. My son loved David too. Both kids looked forward to our apts with David. Which when you are fighting a child support/ custody case and your drained, it’s so nice to have parts of the process be so easy and helpful. And that’s what we got from David and his staff.David has offered to be available if he can help after the case with questions or getting a teenager in line. They were understanding and more than fair with my payment options. Joel, his assistant- is a joy to talk to and prompt to respond and he chatted with the kids and put them at ease in a very uncomfortable situation. I can’t say enough good things about them.We drive past their office every day on the way to school and my daughter said she wanted to stop by and take David a Christmas present. That’s pretty impressive for a 16 year old.They really made a very unbearable situation so much better; David even made us smile and laugh during a very nerve wracking time.I would highly recommend them to anyone. Definitely 5 plus stars!
David helped me successfully navigate through a challenging legal scenario, where timely direction and counsel were paramount to a positive outcome. He quickly understood the issues at hand, provided very practical advice, all the while demonstrating his firm understanding of the law. Just as importantly, his advice was grounded in how the practical application of that knowledge would lead to a positive outcome. He was easy to talk with, a focused listener, honest, and it was obvious that he was not out for his own gain. It was nothing short of a positive experience from start to finish!
I retained David Betz for my divorce and very happy with how things turned out. David and his team went straight to work and kept me updated every step of the way. If you looking for someone to get the job done, then look no further. Thank You David and Joel for all you have done for me!!
I felt comfortable with David and was always treated with respect and listened to.
Such a great experience working with David. He truly was looking after my child's best interest and that's what it's all about. But he also was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and explained everything so that even my 7 year old could understand. Well done.
David is a great person and lawyer. He was on top of the situation instantly also very professional. I would recommend him to anyone that wants not only a lawyer but a friend he listened to my concerns and took action thats what I like about him. Thanks David ! My life is forever changed !
David actually cared and unlike most attorneys, did not try to take as much as possible. I am satisfied and got everything I needed.
David Betz is professional and is very to the point! He knows the law and helps to get you a fair deal. He helped me get 50 percent custody of my kids and my home back from my ex. His staff are very knowledgeable and helpfully as well! I highly recommend him to anyone going though a custody battle!
I was in a very tough spot legally with a family situation. David was able to help me out and I got much more than I ever expected from the court. I give David the highest possible rating!!! He will do what is necessary to help you with your family law situation.
David Betz is very kind and will answer any questions you have regarding your case in a timely manner. I highly recommend him.
Really listened and provided solid advice and assistance. Always made himself available and never rushed our meetings. He really cared about our outcome, I felt like a friend rather than a client. A great attorney and true professional.

In our experience dealing with child custody matters, we have found that the best solution for the child is mediation with the parents. Children thrive in a better environment when both parents are satisfied with the results of a custody agreement and feel that their needs and concerns have been met.

The Differing Forms of Custody

During child custody discussions, there may be terms used that you think you understand but can be confusing. As your St. Louis child custody attorney we will make sure that you fully comprehend what is being discussed at all stages of your case.

First, there are varying types of child custody arrangements that need to be considered:

  • Physical Custody: This is awarded to the parent with whom the child lives primarily. Joint physical custody may be an option if the parents live close together and the child will spend equal amounts of time in both households. This should only be considered if going back and forth between homes won’t be overly stressful for the child.
  • Legal Custody: The parent awarded legal custody has the right to make all important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, including their education, needs, and religious upbringing. Unless there is overwhelming evidence to suggest otherwise, St. Louis courts support parents sharing legal custody of their children.

Sole Custody Versus Joint Custody

Parents must decide if sole or joint custody is in the best interest of their child for both physical and legal custody. Sole physical custody is common, where one parent is deemed the primary caretaker while the other is granted visitation rights.

A St. Louis judge prefers legal custody if the parents agree to share responsibility. This ensures that the child benefits from the input of both his biological parents. In most cases, a severe defect on the part of one parent must be proven to convince a judge that sole legal custody is in the child’s best interest.

Deciding Factors in Custody Hearings

The child’s best interest is the deciding factor in St. Louis custody hearings. With the help of our child custody attorneys, parents can usually mediate and come to an amicable conclusion regarding what works best for the child and them. In determining what is best for the child, there are several things to consider:

  • The parenting plan submitted by each parent and their wishes.
  • The willingness of each parent to meet the child’s needs, including the child’s need to spend quality time with each parent.
  • What the child thinks is best for them.
  • Any intent on behalf of either parent to relocate with the child.
  • The willingness of the parents to encourage the relationship between their child and the other parent.
  • The mental and physical well-being of both the parents and the child.
  • History of abusive behavior.

Our team of child custody attorneys will discuss each of these points with you to help you make a co-parenting plan that is beneficial to your child’s welfare. If the St. Louis judge presiding over your case does not feel that all of these points were covered in your parenting plan, he has the authority to impose his own terms for your child custody case.

The Parenting Plan

During divorce proceedings involving children, a Missouri couple must develop a workable parenting plan. While this can be done separately or jointly, our firm recommends that you work with the other parent to devise a plan you are both satisfied with. Bear in mind that a child’s needs will change as they grow, so we would encourage you to include a provision for revision of the plan in the future. When reviewing a parenting plan, a St. Louis judge will consider the following factors:

  • Safety: This is always the primary concern when determining child custody issues. A parent who is proven to pose a risk of physical or mental harm to the child can have their contact with the child limited by a judge. Who the parent lives with is also a factor. Certain felony convictions of other household members may compel a judge to restrict visitation or order that it be supervised.
  • Needs of the Child: A judge can allow a child to state a preference for custody arrangements if they are deemed intelligent enough to make their own choices. Otherwise, the decision will be based on the willingness of both parents to devote time to the child. The judge will also accept a parenting plan considering the child’s need to spend time with other important family members, such as grandparents.

St. Louis Custody Attorneys

Our legal team recognizes the delicate nature of child custody proceedings and makes it a priority to ensure that your interests and those of your child are considered first and foremost. The idea of losing precious time with a child can be overwhelming for a parent whose primary goal is to protect their well-being. We have the experience you need to help your family through these difficult times and ensure you are satisfied with the result.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Our firm uses experience, good communication, and availability to help families navigate life-changing events.