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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Bitcoin could complicate high net worth divorce

Hiding assets during divorce proceedings is sadly not that uncommon. Missouri couples who are going through a high net worth divorce may understandably feel a strong urge to protect the assets that are most important to them, but some individuals take it too far. Although hidden assets are certainly nothing new, some divorcees are using newer technologies to conceal marital property.

Bitcoin is an unregulated digital currency that provides anonymity to users. It made its debut in 2009 and experienced significant growth over 2017 as many people found its claim of being untraceable appealing. For a soon-to-be ex-spouse who might be trying to hide as many assets as possible, the anonymity and inability to trace make Bitcoin an ideal place to stash money until the divorce is finalized.

For Missouri fathers, child custody can be an uphill battle

10415673_S.jpgMissouri fathers have an integral role to play in their children's lives. Unlike past generations, many people now acknowledge just how important it is for a child to have ready access to not just their mother after a divorce, but to both parents. Unfortunately, fathers sometimes still face an uphill battle when it comes to asserting their paternal rights during child custody matters.

Shared, 50/50 custody is ideal for many families hoping to maintain loving, nurturing bonds after a divorce. When fathers advocate for this situation, they are often met with unnecessary opposition or demands. It is not uncommon for fathers to come up against any of the following obstacles:

  • Demands for more child support in exchange for more parenting time
  • Untrue child abuse accusations
  • Dangerous and irrational behavior from the custodial parent
  • Wrongful relocation of the child by the mother
  • Contested paternity claims

Child custody and the child's best interest

37128336_S.jpgWhen Missouri parents decide to divorce, there are a number of factors that need to be considered. In addition to who gets what and who is responsible for what, decisions regarding the care and upbringing of the child or children must be considered. Child custody is an essential part of the equation.

In many instances, the parents are able to work out custody arrangements. An agreement is reached and becomes a part of the divorce decree if the parents are married. In other instances, the parents are unable to reach an agreement, and the courts must decide the issues. When this happens, the judge must make a final determination based upon what he or she believes to be in the best interest of the child.

Homes are complicated marital assets

30051655_S.jpgA home is one of the biggest purchases that a person will ever make. However, a home can also be one of the most difficult marital assets to divide during a divorce. When considering who -- if anyone -- will maintain ownership of a marital home, it is important to consider all of the possible implications.

Missouri is an equitable division state, which means that each spouse has the right to a fair share of the marital assets, even if that share is not an even 50 percent of shared property. Since a home is usually one of the most valuable assets that married couples share, this may take up a significant portion of a person's distributed assets. This is particularly true if a family law judge determines that a person's equitable portion is only about one-third.

Could you benefit from a prenuptial agreement?

43131363_S.jpgUnlike their parents, millennials in Missouri tend to put off marriage, prioritizing other aspects of life. However, this does not mean that millennials are swearing off marriage altogether. Many people in this generation want to establish themselves in their career or build a more solid financial foundation before saying "I do." A carefully worded prenuptial agreement may be essential for protecting assets accrued before marriage.

In the past, prenups have largely been used by those of considerable wealth, but high-value inheritances are no longer the main driving force behind these documents. A person's hard-earned business interests, careers and other personal assets are still important and worthy of protection in the vent of a divorce. A study revealed that most people agree, with the top item covered by prenuptial agreements listed as separate property, and the third being future asset division.

Your daycare costs could be included in child support

48495034_S.jpgWorking parents in Missouri likely already understand just how complicated day care matters can be. From finding the right facility to dealing with day care-related illnesses, one of the biggest issues parents face is paying the hefty bill. For divorced parents, this payment can usually be addressed and included in their child support order.

Day care tends to be one of the biggest expenses for working parents, and that expense can be an even greater burden for those who are divorced and living on only one income. However, since child support calculations can be incredibly complicated, few parents are aware that they can include the cost of day care. Many parents find this an easier approach than attempting to split the day care bill.

Keegan-Michael Key's high net worth divorce finalized

30445796_S.jpgKeegan-Michael Key might be most well-known in Missouri for his comedy work, but he has more recently made headlines for the end of his marriage. His high net worth divorce from Cynthia Blaise was finalized several years after the initial filing. The couple did not have any children, and although they did not have to deal with custody or child support matters, Peele's high net-worth likely complicated the process.

The couple married in Dec. 1998, and separated in Nov. 2015. Although Blaise works as both a dialect coach and an actress, Peele seems to have greatly out-earned his ex-wife. With a gross annual income of over $2 million, the divorce settlement included an order for him to pay alimony to Blaise.

Could tax reform impact your high asset divorce?

38923650_S.jpgMissouri residents going through divorce likely understand that change is an inevitable part of life. In many instances -- such as in an unhappy marriage that ends in divorce -- change can be a good thing. However, almost all change should usually be considered carefully for how it may impact a person's future. With potential tax reform on the horizon, those going through a high asset divorce should be aware of the possible changes to alimony.

Alimony -- also called spousal support -- are payments made from one ex-spouse to another following their divorce. These payments are usually temporary, and they are typically required when one spouse greatly out-earned the other. Currently, individuals who pay alimony can deduct those expenses on their taxes, and the receiving party must claim their alimony as part of their taxable income.

The importance of a QDRO during equitable division

65396714_S.jpgWhether worth tens of thousands of dollars or significantly less, retirement savings are incredibly valuable to most people. Even relatively small accounts can provide a solid foundation for financial peace during retirement. Many divorcees in Missouri are understandably worried about how their retirement savings will be handled during equitable division.

Unless a marital agreement states otherwise, most retirement accounts are considered marital assets, as the funds were saved with the intention of supporting both parties later in life. It can be tempting to try and skirt the sometimes-complicated process of dividing up a marital estate, but doing so can have costly consequences. Those who opt for this approach usually end up eating away much of their savings in taxes and penalties that might have otherwise been avoided.

When life changes, you need modification of child custody

23032812_S.jpgYou lose hours at your job or get fired, and you do not want to fall behind on your child support payments. You need to move across the state or even out of Missouri altogether, but have a child custody arrangement with your ex. Life is not static, and there is no guarantee that things will stay exactly as they for years to come. When life changes, you might need a modification of child custody plans.

Even if both parents agree to a change in custody or child support, it is not legally binding unless a modification is approved by the family law court. Parents may petition the court for a modification to child support based on an increase or a decrease in either parents' income. Without a court-ordered modification, you might be on the hook for back or missed payments.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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St. Charles, Missouri 63303

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