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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Government's child support error ruins man's vacation

40708501_S.jpgMissouri parents are probably aware that, if they fail to make timely child support payments, they can face serious legal consequences. Most would probably say they do their best to pay the proper amount on time. Unfortunately, there is always room for human error, and sometimes, the government entities responsible for processing child support payments make mistakes.

One Missouri father recently found himself in an inconvenient situation due to a mistake by the government concerning his child support payments. He was unaware there was any trouble at all until he went to get his passport ready for a family vacation. He was informed that he could not get his passport because he was behind on his child support payments. The man insisted that he was current with his payments and could not fathom why he would be denied. 

Child custody dispute results in missing child

21492094_S.jpgMissouri parents and grandparents may be familiar with unique custody arrangements. Sometimes, if a parent is not able to care for a child for a number of reasons, the grandparents can file for child custody. Grandparents may be able to provide children with a safe and happy home while a parent cannot do so. 

Recently, the biological mother of a Missouri child took him from his grandparents home. She is not the custodial parent, and the grandparents have legal custody of the boy. The grandparents immediately contacted police. They are deeply concerned that the child may be in harm's way. 

New camera laws won't affect child custody cases

47167403_S.jpgMissouri parents may have seen the recent news stories pertaining to changes in rules about media cameras in courtrooms. The law now allows more media cameras to be present during certain court proceedings. At first glance, parents with upcoming child custody appearances may feel nervous about the changes. 

There is no need to fear, however, as the new law prohibits the use of cameras in child custody cases, and many other cases where children are present or involved. Families have a right to privacy where their children are concerned. Going to court can be a nerve-wracking experience, and Missouri has taken steps to ensure that the privacy of children is protected in a court of law. 

Do you have to take your high asset divorce to court?

25241369_S.jpgFortunately, the answer to this question is no. Missouri couples now have other, less confrontational and adversarial options when it comes to resolving their issues in a high asset divorce. If you want to avoid a contentious courtroom battle, you may want to consider either mediation or collaborative divorce as an alternative.

Mediation and collaborative law share many of the same advantages. Both generally cost less to complete, allow the parties to retain control over the outcome and provide a less formal atmosphere that fosters cooperation and compromise. When using either alternative dispute resolution method, you may bring in third parties such as financial advisors, counselors and appraisers to help you make the best decisions possible.

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. 

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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St. Charles, Missouri 63303

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