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St. Charles Divorce & Family Law Blog by Stange Law Firm, PC

Best time of year for a high asset divorce?

20948237_s.jpgA statistically high number of online search queries about divorce occur each January. Experts say it is not a coincidence that many people choose to end their marriages early in the year. Sometimes referred to as Divorce Month, Missouri residents might be interested to learn that there may be some merit to filing in January, especially in cases of high asset divorce

Some people decide to end a marriage in January because they are looking for a fresh start in a new year. Perhaps spouses wanted to wait until the holiday festivities were over for the sake of children or relatives. While these are certainly valid reasons, those in the know say a January divorce can make good financial sense. 

Politicians eyeing matters of family law

100272776_s.jpgMissouri families are venturing into 2020 with high hopes and noble goals. Certainly, no parent ever plans for matters in the home to go badly. Sometimes, a parent is unable to properly care for a child, and the situation may become a matter of family law

Recently, a documentary series exposed the plight of children placed in the nationwide foster care system. Some children are removed from the care of their parents only to be neglected in foster care. Others age out of the system and have no resources to help them become established and successful adults. Though many factors are cited as potential causes, lawmakers want to focus on solutions. 

Considering a surrogacy agreement? You're not alone

101719699_s.jpgSurrogacy is not a new idea. If a Missouri woman is facing possible complications with conception or pregnancy, she may be considering a surrogacy agreement. The process of having a child carried and delivered by another woman can be traced back to the dawn of modern civilization, and examples can even be found in religious texts like the Christian Bible. For a long time, many people viewed surrogacy as something taboo, but in recent years, society is changing its attitude. 

This may be due in part to the positive testimonies being shared by popular celebrities. A few years ago, Kim Kardashian shared her intimate thoughts and experiences on the subject. Since then, more well-known figures have come forward to share their stories. Most recently, Kandi Burress, star on a popular reality television show, gave the world its first glimpses of her child born via surrogate. 

Leaving the state does not change child custody orders

105868790_s.jpgEvery Missouri parent can probably recall an occasion on which he or she was at odds with the other parent over an issue regarding a child. When it comes to children, it can be hard for both parents to agree on what is best. In cases where parents maintain separate households, they often are bound by the terms of a child custody order

A parent may disagree with a particular court order, and sometimes a parent may resort to desperate measures to circumvent terms he or she is not willing to follow. A recent news story concerned one mother's plan to hop from state to state in an effort to keep her children in her custody. Last summer, she was locked in a custody battle with the father of her children, and had previously claimed that her children were being abused by someone in the family. 

Paternity: Rights or responsibilities?

102506420_s.jpgMissouri dads are on a mission to do the best they can for their children. When a baby is born, establishing paternity is a necessary step, but it is far from the last thing on a dad's to do list. Becoming a father might seem overwhelming, but a community outreach program aims to assist. 

Every parent knows that raising a child can be rewarding, but being a good father requires hard work too. In addition to making sure a child is supported both financially and emotionally, many Missouri dads are dealing with other stresses in life. Legal woes, struggling to find steady employment and other hardships might seem discouraging. 

Frustrating delays may affect child support cases

28241259_s.jpgMissouri families are busy preparing for the holidays, but for some parents, stress over ongoing court cases may put a damper on things. Nonpayment of child support is considered a crime, and when a parent falls so behind that the state decides to prosecute, the parent that owes the balance might exercise his or her right to be represented by a public defender. Unfortunately, there is a growing back log of such cases across the state. 

According to representatives within the Missouri court system, public defenders are overwhelmed. Many report handling approximately 240 cases each. Latest calculations indicate that Missouri is second to last in the nation regarding the funds available to pay public defenders. 

Are you properly informed about child support laws?

39310128_s.jpgMissouri state Rep. Jim Murphy, from Oakville, recently joined other legislators and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to discuss various topics currently occupying state lawmakers. The town hall style gathering took place at Grant's View Library Branch in South St. Louis and aimed to engage the public. Rep. Murphy wanted to call attention to child support and the possible misinformation that currently has some residents confused. 

Sometimes, a person may come across a social media post that appears to be a legitimate news source. Unless a person carefully researches the claims made by such a post, he or she may easily be misled by the contents. Recently, rumors that parents will no longer face criminal penalties for failing to pay child support have some residents confused. 

Is your parenting plan ready for the holidays?

84074762_S.jpgGet ready to deck those halls, Missouri, the holidays have arrived. This time of year can be extra busy, and even when lots of fun is on the calendar, tension between divorced parents may have kids stuck in the middle feeling a bit grinchy. It is natural for parents that split custody to worry that a child may miss out on holiday fun if they are with the other parent, but experts advise that feuding families without a set parenting plan can make a child go from "ho ho ho" to "ho hum."

A reputable therapist that is familiar with shared custody situations has an inside scoop on many kids' session confessions. She says parents sometimes cannot figure out why a child does not seem excited about the holiday season. After all, who doesn't look forward to shopping trips, extravagant feasts, gifts and time-honored traditions?

November celebrates an important aspect of family law

49601855_S.jpgPeople often view court proceedings as a stressful or negative experience. This is understandable, because in some cases, legal action follows a troubling or traumatic situation like a crime or the end of a marriage. Many people associate family law with matters like divorce or child custody battles. While these are certainly matters that Missouri families may have to face, an annual campaign strives to remind people that there are also happy and positive matters that are handled by family law courts. 

Families are preparing to gather together and celebrate Thanksgiving, so perhaps it is especially fitting that November is also National Adoption Month. For many children, a "forever family" would be a dream come true. The state estimates that there are about 1,200 children waiting to be adopted, and the Department of Social Services wants to bring awareness to the adoption process through education and outreach. 

Missing child support payments is a roadblock for parents

37496308_S.jpgMissouri parents probably don't really calculate how much time is spent driving here and there. For most parents, driving to work, school or a grocery store is just part of the daily routine. With the holiday season approaching, families may be on the road more than ever, as extra travel and shopping are common in the coming months. Unfortunately, a parent may have to fork over the keys if he or she falls behind on child support payments. 

Missouri is one of many states that will take away a parent's driving privileges if child support payments fall behind. It is estimated that approximately 11 million parents face a suspended license each year nationwide. This can be a devastating blow to a parent that is already behind on payments because they are struggling financially. Loss of license can lead to termination of employment and other serious outcomes. 

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Other Office Locations

  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
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  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806 Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 5 Club Centre Ct., Suite A, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025: Edwardsville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Shawnee County: 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612: Topeka Office
  • Tulsa County: 6660 S. Sheridan Road, Suite 240, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133 Tulsa Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

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