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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Minimum wage is increasing, but child support remains imperative

41915759_S.jpgMissouri parents who work hard to support their children may have celebrated the recent news that the state voted to increase minimum wage for workers. Many households, especially single-parent homes, are struggling financially. A parent may find it difficult to cover all the expenses necessary to provide a stable home for his or her children. In many situations, it is imperative to make sure child support payments are collected in a timely fashion. 

New laws recently went into effect to raise the minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60. While certainly this sounds like terrific news, families are not likely to have "extra" money. Inflation on the cost of goods like food, clothing and housing costs continues to increase. Even though a parent may be paid more, living costs more. 

More grandparents pursuing child custody of grandchildren

42254570_S.jpgFor many Missouri grandparents, the thought of raising young children again may seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, the nation is in the grips of a drug epidemic that continues to affect hundreds of children each day. Many parents struggling with addiction are unable to care for their children, promoting grandparents to pursue a change in child custody

It was estimated that in a single year, in one state alone, about 1,000 babies were born addicted to the drugs they were exposed to in the womb. Called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, newborn infants often suffer withdrawal symptoms from the drugs a biological mother uses during the course of her pregnancy. These children are often born with special medical needs, and must go through a type of detox as soon as they are born. 

New tax laws could affect your high asset divorce

36163054_S.jpgWhen a Missouri resident chooses to end a marriage, it may not be a topic he or she cares to discuss. Divorce can be a sore subject for many, and when it comes to a high asset divorce, things just got a bit more complicated. A new tax law is shaking up the way many divorcees proceed financially. 

Traditionally, Missouri courts assume that any assets gained during the course of a marriage belong to both spouses, regardless of whose name is on a particular asset. When a marriage is dissolved, the value of any assets is usually split evenly. This can be tricky, because if an asset is a physical item, such as a house or a car, the asset can obviously not be physically split. Many people opt to pay alimony, which is a monthly payment made to the other spouse honoring their share of any calculated assets. 

Father begs for help in child custody case

107171137_S.jpgMissouri parents need only to peruse a daily newspaper or swipe through the day's headlines online to realize that, in America, dads are winning. In decades past, it was considered the norm for a mother to be awarded physical custody of a child, often through no particular merit of her own. These days, fathers across the nation are fighting for their rights, and their children, and winning child custody cases. 

One Missouri father was awarded custody of his young son after it was discovered that the child had illegal drugs in his system while living with the mother. The court agreed that the father could provide a safe, stable environment for the boy. The mother was granted visitation rights, allowing the boy to maintain contact with her. 

Missing boy may be in center of child custody dispute

38971148_S.jpgMissouri parents surely do their best to make sure the needs of their children are met. Sometimes, whether due to the poor choices of a parent, or circumstances beyond a parent's control, child protective authorities may feel some action is warranted to protect a child. While this may be a difficult situation for a family to face, parents should be aware that child custody is a legal matter, and if they do not comply, they may face serious consequences. 

Recently, the Missouri Division of Children's Services looked into the home life of a 13-year-old boy. Though it was not disclosed what concerns initiated the investigation, it was determined that the state would take custody of the boy. When social workers returned to the home to take custody of him, they discovered he was missing. 

Family law can help children find home for the holidays

45990378_S.jpgThe leftover turkey is probably long gone, and many Missouri residents have probably set their sights on upcoming December holidays, but November still holds a few festivities. November is National Adoption Month, and many communities across the state aim to educate and celebrate. Adoption is a matter of family law, and many children dream of finding a forever family with the help of the court. 

Recently, one community offered a movie night, free of cost, to local residents. The film "Instant Family" was shown to attendees, and afterwards, people could enjoy refreshments and mingle with their neighbors as they learned about the need for adoptive families in Missouri. Information on foster care was also made available. 

Tips for coping with child custody matters during the holidays

64888685_S.jpgMissouri parents may be among those who assumed the stressful part was behind them when their divorce and custody matters were finally resolved in court. Many parents do not consider that the holiday season can quickly become an emotional burden on their families. The holidays are generally viewed as a time to gather with family and friends, but for those who have experienced a recent change in child custody, it may be difficult to approach the holiday season. 

Fortunately, experts offer a few tips to make the holiday season a bit less stressful. They advise that even though a parent may be upset by the fact that a child may not be around on a certain holiday, the parent should focus on the positives. Parents are encouraged to think of other ways to spend their time without their children. A shopping trip or a lunch date with a friend can help pass the time. 

Boy missing in case regarding custody rights

54482756_S.jpgMissouri parents may personally know the stress that may arise when one parent disagrees with an arrangement regarding a child. It is important to be aware that, once an order has been put in place regarding custody rights, neither party can change the arrangement without utilizing the legal process. Recently, a Missouri child has gone missing, and authorities think they know who took him.

The 4-year-old Missouri boy resides with his father, who has full custody of the child. The mother of the boy allegedly took him from his home and is on the run with the child. Police state she is refusing to return him to his father's home, despite a court order prohibiting such an action.

Child support enforcement penalties may soon change

51562060_S.jpgMissouri parents may be looking forward to the holiday season, which is quickly approaching once again. Though there is much to look forward to, the holiday season can also become costly. Many families pay for special meals, travel expenses and gifts for loved ones. Though certainly enjoyable, parents need to be sure they set aside enough money to cover their regular financial obligations like child support

Currently, a parent who falls behind in child support payments may be subject to penalty, and one current punishment for non-payment utilized by the state is suspension of a driver's license. If a parent who is not up to date on payments loses his or her ability to drive, he or she may lose his or her job or be unable to meet scheduled appointments. A parent who is behind on child support may also have a professional license suspended. 

Loss of child custody can be an emotional experience for parents

46736937_S.jpgFor many Missouri parents, it would be difficult to admit that another parent or family member is better equipped to raise his or her children. While certainly, the best interests of a child must come first, a parent who finds him- or herself on the losing end of a child custody dispute can face emotional pain. One mother has recently opened up about what it feels like to lose child custody.

The woman has three biological children. Before having her third child, she came to the painful decision that the father of her two boys was more capable of caring for them than she was herself. She reasoned that he had a stable job and a large extended family, and that the boys would be well taken care of. She later regretted having missed so many milestones as her sons grew up. 

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  • 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
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  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
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  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
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  • 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
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