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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Bird's nest child custody an option for some families

35334309_S.jpgSome individuals with children may examine their options when it comes to caring for a child after a divorce. Sole custody and joint child custody are common options. For others, an emerging custody trend known as a bird's nest serves as an excellent temporary solution that reduces disruption in a child's life. Missouri individuals exploring their options may find that flying in and out of the nest works for their family's needs. 

During a divorce, the two parties usually find new housing. Finding appropriate housing may take some time, especially if the house will be sold as part of the divorce. For instance, a family may want to wait for a market rebound before selling a home in order to maximize the selling price. Perhaps the couple has not yet determined who will remain in the family home, or the pair may share a lease. 

Missouri parents could give up custody rights under new bill

38961503_S.jpgA proposed state law would allow parents to seek outside help for caring for their children without facing charges of abuse or neglect. A Missouri state senator has introduced a bill that allows parents to give up their custody rights temporarily if they are unable to care for their children while they seek help for drug addiction or work to resolve any other major issues affecting their lives and livelihood. The practice is already used in the state, but the law would give a legal shelter against charges of child abandonment or neglect. 

Any parents who find themselves temporarily unable to provide care for their children, whether it is due to homelessness, a job loss, addiction rehabilitation or some other serious matter, may be able to use a power of attorney to temporarily give custody rights to a third party. If the process is followed, the parent would not be subject to charges of child abuse, neglect or abandonment. The parent would not lose his or her custodial rights, and there would be no financial cost to the state. 

Modern divorce struggles include paternal rights issues and more

11684174_S.jpgSome lawyers have seen it all. In the field of family law, modern trends are creating new issues for couples to fight about. Whether it is about a father's paternal rights to an embryo, or about contentious social media postings, Missouri families have plenty to disagree about during a divorce. 

In this age of advanced reproductive technology, some couples aren't sure what to do with frozen embryos at the time of a divorce. In most cases, the embryos are treated as personal property and are divided as such, but judges usually take the opinion that one person cannot force another to become a parent against their will. So while the embryos can be divided, if the other person is not interested in becoming a parent it is unlikely that they can be implanted and carried in the womb unless both parties agree. 

Man says he was tricked into giving away custody rights

11681212_S.jpgOne man in another state is without his daughter after an incident with Child Protective Services that was recently highlighted in the news. The man claims that he was tricked into signing away custody rights in a moment of duress and that he did not understand the document he was signing. He is now taking the matter to court. Missouri fathers who aren't able to see their own children may find themselves empathizing with the man's situation. 

According to reports, the man needed to temporarily place his child with family friends after his wife had a heart attack. During that time, a teacher reported to CPS that the child smelled like a cat. The Department of Social Services then visited the man and, according to the father, forced him to sign a Custody and Visitation Agreement. He says he thought that he was giving his father custody until he was able to get back home from caring for his wife, but he was actually signing away his rights. 

Missing child located; child custody dispute may be to blame

25487205_S.jpgA local child was the center of an abduction alert recently. The Missouri youngster was initially reported missing, and police were drafting details for flyers when he was found. The incident appears to be the result of adults fighting over a child custody dispute. 

Authorities indicate that the case is complex and the investigation is ongoing. Witnesses in the neighborhood where the child was taken report seeing two older women parked in front of a home. The witness said that she later saw police cars and then she knew that something had gone wrong. 

Splitting marital assets includes retirement, investment accounts

Ending a marriage is never easy. When two people have built a life together, it can take a bit of strategy to untangle the threads. One facet of divorce is property division, where the two parties divide the marital assets between them. Retirement accounts and investment accounts typically represent the divorcing couple's largest collection of funds. In Missouri, each type of account has its own rules for separation, and by following the rules, an individual can avoid common mistakes that could potentially reduce his or her portion of the sum.

In order to split a 401(k), an order called the Qualified Domestic Relations Order must be filed. Each account should have its own order. This will typically be filed along with the divorce settlement. The QDRO allows the transfer of the funds from one account to another. The document is usually drafted by a professional -- often a lawyer, and will need to be written so that it matches the intent of the divorce order. 

Family law matters don't have to be agonizing

Divorce and disagreement seem to go hand in hand. Many people feel that there is no way to avoid unpleasantness while ending a marriage. The truth is, while it may not be easy or even guaranteed, it is possible. A person who finds him or herself in a family law court in Missouri can try to take advantage of common threads that can lead to a more amicable parting. 

A person who is already more self-reliant will likely have an easier time being alone after a marital breakup. By working on strengthening independence skills, an individual may be able to survive and thrive post-divorce. Keeping communications as friendly as possible can also be a great help. This can be a challenge, but by keeping it friendly and fair, and not overdoing it, a person can usually find a more peaceful way to settle with a soon-to-be ex. 

Investing marital assets after a divorce

53235114_S.jpgThe process of divorce can be a challenging time when two individuals determine how the shared property will be divided. After the dust clears, one or both partners could be left with a sum of funds that will need to fully or partially finance their lifestyles for years to come. By choosing to invest one's portion of the marital assets, a Missouri resident may be able to get more mileage from the share of the divorce settlement that he or she receives. 

Both parties will likely need to adjust to financial changes post-divorce. Essentially, two households will need to be maintained from the same pool of income that previously supported only one. For the less financially sophisticated partner, the transition can be a bit more challenging. 

Child support enforcement technology coming to all 50 states

10277612_S.jpgIn an effort to reduce spending, the Department of Health and Human Services is asking for funds for technology upgrades. Since 1995, each state has been legally required to have a system in place for child support collection and enforcement. Some states have struggled to do so. Individuals in Missouri may be interested to learn more about the proposed federal program and its potential impacts for payment monitoring. 

The DHHS has asked for $63 million to fund a Child Support Technology Fund. This money would go toward building a IT system to monitor and enforce support payments at the state level. The IT program would then be made available for all states to use. 

Man fights for paternal rights in court case

36419114_S.jpgFor some, having a child outside of marriage could prove to be problematic when it comes time to see and form a relationship with the child. A recent news story gives details of one man's fight for his paternal rights in an atypical case. Although the incident did not occur in Missouri, the details of the case may provide useful information for other individuals experiencing similar issues of paternity. 

Apparently, this individual was having an on-again, off-again relationship with a woman who was still married, although separated from her husband. She ultimately got pregnant, and then got back with the husband. Under the law of the state in which the incident occurred, the child's legal father would then be the individual who was married to the mother. Any child born in a marriage would be recognized as a product of the marriage in this case. 

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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St. Charles, Missouri 63303

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