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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

The family pet: an emerging family law issue

Pets 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

At 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.

Paternity documents surface in disputed family case

46151390_S.jpgA musician faces legal challenges, and the results aren't yet clear. One woman claims that the man, the popular rapper Offset, is the father of her 2-month-old baby. He disputes the paternity and the documents that have popped up on social media. If found to be the father of the child, the man will have certain parental rights and responsibilities. Missouri fans of the rapper will likely want to follow the story as it develops. 

Offset, also known as Mr. Kiari Kendrell Cephus, recently became a father with his current beau Cardi B. Then the claims that he was the father to another child started to swirl on social media. Late last year, Instagram model Celina Powell came forward to claim that Mr. Cephus was the father to her child.

Statement of marital assets requested by Pete Rose's wife

26507980_S.jpgMajor League Baseball star Pete Rose has made the bulk of his post-sports career cash by signing autographs. His wife claims that he makes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year doing so, but loses it in gambling. Their pending divorce, started in 2011, continues with a new filing. His wife requested that Rose to reveal his personal finances so that the couple can split the marital assets and finally complete the divorce. Missouri fans of Rose may be interested in the developing case. 

The couple originally married back in 1984. Apparently, he filed for divorce back in 2011, but the breakup was never finalized. Rose has moved on romantically, and even made a reality TV show with his new girlfriend, a younger former Playboy model. The former ballplayer's penchant for making money with appearances and signed memorabilia has been documented in the past by magazines. 

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. 

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Stange Law Firm, PC

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

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