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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Man fights for paternal rights in court case

36419114_S.jpgFor some, having a child outside of marriage could prove to be problematic when it comes time to see and form a relationship with the child. A recent news story gives details of one man's fight for his paternal rights in an atypical case. Although the incident did not occur in Missouri, the details of the case may provide useful information for other individuals experiencing similar issues of paternity. 

Apparently, this individual was having an on-again, off-again relationship with a woman who was still married, although separated from her husband. She ultimately got pregnant, and then got back with the husband. Under the law of the state in which the incident occurred, the child's legal father would then be the individual who was married to the mother. Any child born in a marriage would be recognized as a product of the marriage in this case. 

Understanding types of child custody

69454256_S.jpgA common question for parents who are ending a marriage is, where will the children live? Many families want the most fair custody arrangement that is also in the best interest of the children. The two main types of child custody are legal and physical. Missouri residents will probably understand that there are a few different ways to combine the child care responsibilities within the two types of custody. 

Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility to make decisions for the child when it comes to health, education and welfare. Physical custody refers to the parent who will live with the child. A person who understands the difference between legal and physical custody may be better prepared to negotiate a custody agreement with the other parent. 

Child support is key for your child's financial stability

33971679_S (1).jpgRaising children can be expensive, but fear of being the sole financial supporter should not deter Missouri parents from seeking divorce. In most cases, custodial parents in Missouri will usually receive child support payments from their exes. However, most judges will take more than just primary custody into account when determining an appropriate payment plan.

Income is typically the main factor that impacts the amount of child support. Since children have the right to benefit from both of their parents' incomes, a high-earning custodial parent will usually not diminish what another parent must pay. The guidelines will instead focus on the payer's income, and what he or she can afford.

Here's why you need a surrogacy agreement

35403202_S.jpgFor families who are unable to have children through conventional methods, surrogacy may be a viable option. Many Missouri parents have wonderful relationships with the women who serve as surrogates, but a good relationship does not replace the legal protections found within a surrogacy agreement. A contract between a surrogate and the soon-to-be parents is essential for protecting everyone involved.

A surrogacy agreement must include basic legal information, and may also include some wishes of those involved. Basic legal information can actually be quite involved and goes far beyond the parents' and surrogate's names. Information regarding psychological and physical health exams, use of assisted reproductive technology, health insurance information and timing of prenatal medical exams should all be included in any comprehensive surrogacy contract.

Bitcoin could complicate high net worth divorce

39394533_S.jpgHiding 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.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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St. Charles, Missouri 63303

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