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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Fighting for child support often a battle better faced with help

34278027_S (1).jpgMissouri parents, like others, typically want what is best for their children. In situations where divorce is imminent, child support issues can lead to disagreements over how to interpret what is best. Parents are advised to seek guidance regarding how to address such matters in court.

As in all states, the court has the final say where issues regarding children in divorce are concerned. That is not to say, however, that the court is uninterested in what parents have to say. To the contrary, most judges carefully take into account the needs, goals and requests of both parents, along with any state guidelines that pertain to an issue before rendering their decisions.

Financial prep and marital assets review crucial in divorce

35137027_S.jpgUnlike some other states in the nation, Missouri is known as an equitable property state, which means property and assets may not necessarily be divided evenly during divorce. In community property states, assets and income earned during the marriage are considered owned equally by the parties. In Missouri, and other equitable distribution states, marital assets are distributed fairly, although perhaps not equally.

It is not uncommon for items previously shared by married spouses to become divided in a divorce. Such issues may evoke strong emotions on both sides, depending on the monetary and sentimental value of the assets in question. Anyone considering divorce will want to first take stock of all property, assets, income and expenses in order to be fully prepared for what may lie ahead.

Protecting fathers' rights in Missouri

53657582_S.jpgVarious circumstances can affect child custody issues in Missouri. Typically, these matters can be amicably addressed when both parents want what is best for their children and are willing to negotiate and compromise to achieve an agreeable plan. If a mother opposes the idea of a biological father retaining custody, she may challenge his fathers' rights.

A man who has served in the United States military on active duty in Afghanistan is currently engaged in an ongoing battle over custody of his daughter. The child was conceived during a dating relationship, and the soldier apparently learned of his girlfriend's pregnancy just before he went overseas. Reportedly, the serviceman's situation in the desert prevented him from calling the mother of his child, although he did get to view photographs of the baby online.

Those in Missouri facing high asset divorce may agree with study

27937998_S.jpgA recent study was conducted in a state outside Missouri that analyzed divorce data covering a span of 14 years in several counties. Some of that information most likely involved data from more than one high asset divorce. The results of the study were recently presented at an American Sociological Association conference, and they suggested a link between divorce filings and seasonal traditions of families.

It appears that many couples delay their plans to end their marriages in court when birthdays, holidays and family vacation times roll around each year. The authors of the recent study say the reason for this is that such celebrations often inspire couples to believe they can resolve their problems. However, after spending extended time together on vacation, many end up feeling more stressed afterward than they were before.

What to do if former spouse is uncooperative in a parenting plan

37454648_S (1).jpgMissouri children whose parents divorce often face major lifestyle adjustments. This upheaval can be very stressful on all involved. Most parents want what is best for their children; however, if a former spouse refuses to cooperate in developing an amicable parenting plan, a situation can become complicated.

A concerned parent may wonder where to turn for help in such circumstances. It is advisable to seek experienced guidance, rather than attempt to address such issues on one's own. Especially when the other parent is not agreeable, contentious debates and courtroom battles may ensue that delay one's ability to obtain a positive solution to a problem.

Reasons for choosing a prenuptial agreement

53627590_S.jpgMany Missouri couples intending to marry begin planning for their future together in advance. In addition to planning an actual wedding ceremony and celebration, some choose to address certain issues pertaining to personal assets and future marital property. For various reasons, some determine that signing a prenuptial agreement is the best way to document separate property and establish procedures for issues that may arise in the future.

By signing a formal agreement before marriage, an intended spouse can avoid lengthy court battles concerning property distribution should a future situation bring forth a need to address the issue. In light of the fact that not all marriages last a lifetime, many believe that conflicts in divorce may be avoided if a plan has already been set in place regarding assets and property distribution. It is also possible to limit debt liability by assigning credit card debt, mortgage loans or other outstanding financial expenses to a particular spouse.

Some child custody battles become international incidents

42795154_S.jpgMissouri parents facing child custody issues often face significant challenges. Communication barriers can lead to contentious child custody battles that evoke strong emotions on both sides. On occasion, those disputes erupt into international disputes, including allegations of criminal conduct.

In 1993, President Clinton signed a new law pertaining to international parental kidnapping. At the time, the president stated that such situations should only be prosecuted if those involved were unable to resolve the matters at the civil level. The law was reportedly enacted after situations began to arise where parents who feared losing custody battles in the United States fled the country with the children.

Seeking modification of child custody orders in Missouri

5984493_S (1).jpgWhen a Missouri married couple divorces, they often face continued challenges regarding the future care and upbringing of their children. Most parents want what is best for their kids, although each one's interpretation of what that might be may vary. Sometimes, court intervention is needed to make final decisions. However, even after the court issues an order, life circumstances may change and a parent may need to seek a modification of child custody orders at some point.

Whether a change in lifestyle occurs through an increase or decrease in income, or a custodial or non-custodial parent decides to move to another state, any number of things may necessitate adaptation of a current parenting plan. Filing a motion to modify an existing court order due to a substantial change in circumstances can be complicated and stressful. It is often best to act alongside experienced counsel in such matters.

Jason Hoppy apparently happy with child custody arrangement

43131755_S (1).jpgMissouri readers likely know that Real Housewives of New York star, Bethenny Frankel has been engaged in more than one legal battle with her now former spouse, Jason Hoppy. Their 6-year-old daughter, Bryn, has been a central focus in the ongoing child custody proceedings, which reportedly lasted for several years. Recently, a spokesman for Hoppy indicated that the businessman seems very happy with the resolutions obtained that recognize his right to share in the future care and upbringing of his daughter.

Frankel says she cried when her former husband finally moved out of the home he was living in, while she was bouncing around from hotel to hotel, as well as living in other temporary forms of housing. She reportedly had been the one to purchase the former couple's home through a trust. Yet, after they chose to divorce, he continued to live there.

Missouri visitation laws change in favor of shared parenting

5984493_S.jpgMissouri couples who have children and are considering divorce will want to obtain information regarding laws that govern such matters. One new piece of legislation, in particular, focuses on the importance of spending time with both parents when it comes to what is best for children whose parents divorce. The new visitation and custody law is set to take effect in late August 2016.

The state representative who sponsored the bill that has now been signed into law stressed the value of shared parenting when it comes to a child's overall well-being and sense of security after divorce. Historically, fathers have had more difficult times gaining visitation rights and custody of children when marriages are no longer intact. The courts have typically ruled in favor of mothers in such situations.