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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Tragedy and paternity

Missouri residents, even if not fans of rap music, may recall the untimely and tragic slaying of next generation superstar XXXTENTACION last summer. The artist, who was quickly becoming a favorite among teens and young adults, was slain in a hail of gunfire. His girlfriend at the time had recently found out she was carrying a child, and she is now asking the court for help to prove paternity

The baby boy was born about seven months after his father's murder. The mother of the child says that, so far, no one has questioned the child's paternity, but she does not want any trouble down the road. Though the rapper himself reportedly acknowledged that he was indeed the father, a DNA test could remove any current or future doubt. 

Child support needs may change

53957480_S.jpgMany Missouri parents know what it's like to work around a child custody schedule. When two parents share time with a child, having the appropriate court order in place can decrease stress on both parents and children. Often, when the time comes to calculate child support, the amount of time each parent has a child under his or her roof is an important factor to consider. 

Recently, superstar performing artist and mother of two boys Britney Spears feared she was on the verge of a mental breakdown. The stresses of life were compounded by the fact that her father has fallen seriously ill. Having suffered a similar breakdown in the past, Spears thought it best to be proactive about getting help. 

Times are changing for fathers' rights

39304097_S.jpgMissouri parents may look back upon their own childhoods and be amazed at how much has changed. Over the past few decades, such advances have been made that many parents find it amusing to see the bewilderment on a child's face upon hearing that just a generation ago, children their age did not have cellphones, the internet and other technology that is now commonplace. Gadgets are not the only advances that have been made, and now people are noticing exciting new standards regarding fathers' rights

Not so long ago, if a couple got divorced, it was not unusual for the mother to be awarded primary custody of the children for seemingly no reason at all. Socioeconomic factors certainly played a role, but -- to borrow from Bob Dylan, "times, they are a changin," which is great news for dads across the nation. These days, mom doesn't win just because she's mom. 

Establish paternity now, save a headache later

42327406_S.jpgMissouri families look forward to the arrival of a new baby with preparation and anticipation. Making sure the nursery is well-stocked and everything placed just so can be fun, but there are other matters to tend to before Baby comes home. Establishing paternity is an important part of a child's life, and a way for parents to ensure that the child will be well cared for by both mom and dad. 

Recently, a celebrity couple, made famous by the MTV "Teen Mom" franchise, welcomed a new baby girl. Like most excited parents, the couple was happy to share photos on social media, but not all the comments were well wishers. Some fans were aware that the couple had undergone a separation period prior to the birth of the baby, and some voiced doubt about the child's paternity. 

Shocking report reveals national child support issues

83442712_S.jpgMissouri residents need only tune in to the daily news to see a recent rash of tabloid-esque stories surrounding celebrity parents. Most recently, R&B singer R. Kelly was reported to be in arrears on his child support in an amount of $161,000. Further, a reputable news outlet aired a shocking report showing that the entire nation seems to be a bit behind on child support

The report informs readers and viewers that an estimated 30 percent of child support payments are not made in the United States. For payments that are made, it is estimated that less than 50 percent are made for the total amount owed. This statistic is shocking, especially because researchers indicate that only half of separated couples have a child support order in place to begin with. 

High asset divorce just got more complicated

109981996_S.jpgMissouri residents know that technology is changing each day. Most American households have integrated the internet, and all it has to offer, into daily life. Whether it be for communication, paying bills, or even games and entertainment, people now rely on technology in an unprecedented way. Now, there is a growing concern that the law needs to catch up. In cases of high asset divorce, litigants may have trouble getting a fair shake. 

The calculation of assets just got a bit more tricky. Cryptocurrency is a new type of money, digital in nature. While many feel that using cryptocurrencies instead of traditional money is safer, because it has a level of digital security and is nearly impossible to forge or replicate, many court systems are not yet up to speed on the matter. 

Actor Channing Tatum is seeking a shared child custody plan

42002074_S.jpgMissouri parents who are estranged from their spouses understand how challenging life can get regarding their children. Especially if there is no existing court-approved plan in place for child custody, things can get rather complicated quickly, particularly if parents disagree about what's best for their kids. Actor Channing Tatum has been learning what it's like to be a single father and says he believes a set schedule for custody would be better for his 5-year-old daughter.

Tatum and his wife have been apart for some time. He is petitioning the court to have custody of his child two days a week, with her mother taking custody for two alternate days and both parents rotating a weekend custody schedule. Tatum has also requested that each parent be granted two weeks of time with their daughter during summer vacations from school. In addition to these requests, the singer/actor also has a specific custody plan in mind for holidays and other special occasions, such as his daughter's birthday.

Man in another state is behind bars re child custody dispute

31257156_S.jpgMany Missouri parents encounter challenges regarding situations related to their children. In circumstances where parents are divorced or sharing child custody as parents who were never married, such problems can really get out of hand if one of the parents involved refuses to play by the rules. If the court has issued orders regarding custody, visitation or support, both parents must adhere to the terms unless and until the judge overseeing the case modifies the order.

Serious problems can arise if a parent refuses to adhere to an existing court order. Evidence of this can be found in an ongoing situation in another state. A woman says the father of her son has been making trouble, such as following her around town, even though she has an active protection order against him.

Do you know the facts about child support?

13252713_S.jpgMany Missouri parents may still be confused about some aspects of raising children between two separate households. Especially in cases where parents have recently separated, finding the "new normal" may be tricky. In addition to working on custody agreements and co-parenting, many families must begin the process of filing for child support

While child support agreements are certainly not unusual, each family is different. The courts will consider a myriad of aspects when calculating the amount a parent needs to pay to cover his or her share of the financial support a child needs. In Missouri, the average child support payment is about $500 a month. 

Missouri child support case exposes flaws in procedure

42892638_S (2).jpgFor many Missouri parents, raising children can often come with confusion and stress. Matters that may appear simple on paper, such as making or receiving child support payments, may actually be unclear and complicated. Recently, one father felt he had been wronged by the system and decided to fight back. 

The man's troubles began when his wages were garnished for child support he was unaware he was responsible for paying. The man claims he has lived in another state for nearly two decades and had not been properly informed that legal action had been taken against him prior to the garnishment. He also alleges that proper steps were not taken to establish paternity before his wages were garnished.

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