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St. Charles Divorce Law Blog

Do you know the facts about child support?

Many 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.

Modification of child custody must be handled through courts

45692901_S.jpgMissouri parents would probably attest that they want the very best for their children. In situations where a court has put a custody order in place, it is no longer up to a parent to decide where a child primarily lives. Even if there is reason for a parent to think that a child would be better off living with himself or herself, instead of another party specified by the order, any changes must be made through a legal modification of child custody

Recently, a Missouri case resulted in a mother and her live-in boyfriend being arrested. The trouble began last autumn, when the mother took her young son to her home for a visit. The mother and father of the child had shared custody of the boy, but the child was ordered to live primarily at the home of the father. 

Minimum wage is increasing, but child support remains imperative

41915759_S.jpgMissouri parents who work hard to support their children may have celebrated the recent news that the state voted to increase minimum wage for workers. Many households, especially single-parent homes, are struggling financially. A parent may find it difficult to cover all the expenses necessary to provide a stable home for his or her children. In many situations, it is imperative to make sure child support payments are collected in a timely fashion. 

New laws recently went into effect to raise the minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60. While certainly this sounds like terrific news, families are not likely to have "extra" money. Inflation on the cost of goods like food, clothing and housing costs continues to increase. Even though a parent may be paid more, living costs more. 

More grandparents pursuing child custody of grandchildren

42254570_S.jpgFor many Missouri grandparents, the thought of raising young children again may seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, the nation is in the grips of a drug epidemic that continues to affect hundreds of children each day. Many parents struggling with addiction are unable to care for their children, promoting grandparents to pursue a change in child custody

It was estimated that in a single year, in one state alone, about 1,000 babies were born addicted to the drugs they were exposed to in the womb. Called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, newborn infants often suffer withdrawal symptoms from the drugs a biological mother uses during the course of her pregnancy. These children are often born with special medical needs, and must go through a type of detox as soon as they are born. 

New tax laws could affect your high asset divorce

36163054_S.jpgWhen a Missouri resident chooses to end a marriage, it may not be a topic he or she cares to discuss. Divorce can be a sore subject for many, and when it comes to a high asset divorce, things just got a bit more complicated. A new tax law is shaking up the way many divorcees proceed financially. 

Traditionally, Missouri courts assume that any assets gained during the course of a marriage belong to both spouses, regardless of whose name is on a particular asset. When a marriage is dissolved, the value of any assets is usually split evenly. This can be tricky, because if an asset is a physical item, such as a house or a car, the asset can obviously not be physically split. Many people opt to pay alimony, which is a monthly payment made to the other spouse honoring their share of any calculated assets. 

Father begs for help in child custody case

107171137_S.jpgMissouri parents need only to peruse a daily newspaper or swipe through the day's headlines online to realize that, in America, dads are winning. In decades past, it was considered the norm for a mother to be awarded physical custody of a child, often through no particular merit of her own. These days, fathers across the nation are fighting for their rights, and their children, and winning child custody cases. 

One Missouri father was awarded custody of his young son after it was discovered that the child had illegal drugs in his system while living with the mother. The court agreed that the father could provide a safe, stable environment for the boy. The mother was granted visitation rights, allowing the boy to maintain contact with her. 

Missing boy may be in center of child custody dispute

38971148_S.jpgMissouri parents surely do their best to make sure the needs of their children are met. Sometimes, whether due to the poor choices of a parent, or circumstances beyond a parent's control, child protective authorities may feel some action is warranted to protect a child. While this may be a difficult situation for a family to face, parents should be aware that child custody is a legal matter, and if they do not comply, they may face serious consequences. 

Recently, the Missouri Division of Children's Services looked into the home life of a 13-year-old boy. Though it was not disclosed what concerns initiated the investigation, it was determined that the state would take custody of the boy. When social workers returned to the home to take custody of him, they discovered he was missing. 

Family law can help children find home for the holidays

45990378_S.jpgThe leftover turkey is probably long gone, and many Missouri residents have probably set their sights on upcoming December holidays, but November still holds a few festivities. November is National Adoption Month, and many communities across the state aim to educate and celebrate. Adoption is a matter of family law, and many children dream of finding a forever family with the help of the court. 

Recently, one community offered a movie night, free of cost, to local residents. The film "Instant Family" was shown to attendees, and afterwards, people could enjoy refreshments and mingle with their neighbors as they learned about the need for adoptive families in Missouri. Information on foster care was also made available. 

Tips for coping with child custody matters during the holidays

64888685_S.jpgMissouri parents may be among those who assumed the stressful part was behind them when their divorce and custody matters were finally resolved in court. Many parents do not consider that the holiday season can quickly become an emotional burden on their families. The holidays are generally viewed as a time to gather with family and friends, but for those who have experienced a recent change in child custody, it may be difficult to approach the holiday season. 

Fortunately, experts offer a few tips to make the holiday season a bit less stressful. They advise that even though a parent may be upset by the fact that a child may not be around on a certain holiday, the parent should focus on the positives. Parents are encouraged to think of other ways to spend their time without their children. A shopping trip or a lunch date with a friend can help pass the time. 

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
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