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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Abuse charges can lead to loss of child custody

13673792_S.jpgWhen a parent commits a crime, the kids can lose their time. Most Missouri parents would likely agree that when it comes to raising their children, they would do anything in their power to ensure the kids are safe and happy. In situations where parents maintain separate households, and there is a child custody arrangement, the actions of one parent can still affect the entire family. Sometimes a lapse in judgment on the part of a parent can lead to criminal charges, and parents should realize that this can directly affect the amount of time they get to spend with their children. 

There is more to raising children than providing food, clothing and shelter. Parents are also responsible for setting a good example for their children, and teaching them how to grow into productive members of society. When parents make bad choices, especially in the presence of their children, they may lose the right to have any sort of custody at all. 

Educational neglect can become a child custody matter

29809032_S.jpgSeeing to the needs of their children maintains a top spot on the priority list of Missouri parents. Aside from the obvious needs of food, clothing and shelter, parents are also tasked with looking after the emotional and educational needs of their children. When it comes to child custody, the ability of a parent to ensure that their children receive a proper education can be called into question. 

It is not uncommon for parents who maintain separate households to have a child custody order put into place. During the school year, one parent is often designated as the custodial parent, with whom the children primarily live. The other parent may have a schedule with set visitation times during the week, on weekends, or breaks from school. 

Big changes may be in store for child custody laws

54427908_S.jpgThe state of Missouri is considering making changes to the way the courts handle child custody arrangements. Currently, courts usually award more child custody time to one parent, while the other has a set schedule for visitation. A new bill making it's way through the state legislature aims to even out the amount of time spent with a child between both parents. 

Those who endorse the bill cite research that supports the theory that children who spend equal time with both biological parents have a decreased risk for troubles like substance abuse, getting into legal trouble and depression. Supporters say that the changes will come at no cost for a parent, and by changing the way the law handles child custody, both parents will have an equal chance to raise their children and be an active part of their lives. The National Parents Organization has provided backing for the new legislation, and hopes that the bill will soon become Missouri law. 

Child support violations chief among recent court cases

51977478_S.jpgMissouri parents are likely aware that when it comes to raising children, sometimes complications can arise. For parents who maintain separate households, it is common for the court to put a child support order into place. A child support order details the an amount of money typically to be paid from one parent to the other on behalf of the needs of any children they share. 

A child support order is a legally binding document, and failure to comply can result in criminal conviction. Fines, probation, or even jail time are possible consequences a violator could face. Recently, a Missouri newspaper published an overview of recent cases that made their way through the local court system. In addition to cases for many other serious crimes, several cases had stemmed from an individual's apparent nonpayment of court-ordered child support.

The family pet: an emerging family law issue

42309764_S.jpgPets are generally treated as beloved family members. The court systems, however, tend to see a pet as property, even in cases of disputed divorces. For some individuals in Missouri, custody of the family pet becomes a contentious issue when settling a divorce in family law court. With the exception of two states, courts will treat a pet as personal property, but attitudes about this issue are changing.  

Since pets are loved like family members, both parties in a divorce may have a strong desire to maintain a relationship with that pet. While some judges will take into account who spends the greater amount of time and money on the pet, sometimes, individuals can be ordered to sell the pet and split the proceeds. One party may be required to buy out the other party in order to receive the pet. 

IRAs are marital assets with special divorce rules

21930623_S.jpgAt the end of a marriage, an individual may find the need to divide the shared property. What and how the marital assets will be divided are decided during the divorce process. Some assets, like IRAs, have special tax rules that apply. Individuals in Saint Charles, Missouri, who want to separate an IRA during divorce should heed the rules to avoid a tax penalty. 

The transfer of an individual's interest in an IRA to a former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument isn't taxable, per the IRS. While some plans, known as qualified plans, require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to transfer the funds, an IRA does not require a QDRO. Funds can be transferred by the divorce decree by transferring the sum into a former spouse's IRA account or retitling the account to the former spouse. 

Britney Spears concerned about retaliation re child support issue

42892638_S.jpgMusic fans in Missouri who follow the career of pop music star Britney Spears may recall the struggle the performer faced when her 2007 divorce made headline news. Since then, she has been trying to resolve various custody and child support issues that have arisen regarding her two children. The boys' father, Kevin Federline, is apparently not satisfied with current payment amounts.

Spears is said to be paying $25,000 monthly at this time as financial provisions, post-divorce, for her children. However, Federline may be asking for double that amount. Spears' father is her legal conservator and has been addressing the problem behind the scenes.

Minor emancipation can be a path to future success

49045505_S.jpgOne woman's journey to successful pageant queen started with less than ideal beginnings. She lacked support from her parents and needed to do many things for herself for which children are not typically responsible. At 16, she was granted a minor emancipation and was able to take more control of her life. Individuals in Missouri may find the details of the woman's story inspiring. 

Although the woman says she harbors no resentment toward her parents, she was able to recognize that she wasn't getting the support she needed. Her emancipation request was granted. After that, she was able to legally sign contracts for herself and be considered an adult. She used her newfound freedom to graduate from high school early, join the Army National Guard and graduate from college. Now, she is a successful pageant queen. 

Before child support, be informed about paternity

37913327_S.jpgA man's bond with his child can be incredibly strong. For some dads, however, they may have a nagging feeling that the child they are raising is not their true biological child. Other men are willing to live with the uncertainty and try to keep a strong, stable presence in the child's life. However, for Missouri men, this attitude can come with long-term impacts, such as paying child support for a child who is not one's biological child.

There are shades of misattributed paternity, also known as paternity fraud. Some women knowingly deceive a man, understanding that the child is likely the product of an affair, but they choose to stay with their husband and keep the family together. Other women may truly have an incorrect belief about their child's parentage or simply be confused about the date of conception. 

A parenting plan can help make co-parenting work

39574737_S.jpgAfter a divorce, working together with an ex can be tough for some people. However, there are ways to adapt and make the process easier for everyone involved. By drafting a parenting plan and keeping some recommended tips in mind, an individual in Missouri can keep the children's best interests well provided for. 

At the end of a marriage, emotions can run high. It may be in everyone's best interests for the individuals to separate their emotions from the task at hand. People can choose to approach the co-parenting relationship like a business arrangement, and keep the focus on the children. Of course, a person may need to vent from time to time, but if he or she can avoid spewing negative emotions in front of the children, it may help to prevent future problems.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
2268 Bluestone Drive
St. Charles, Missouri 63303

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