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Debts and divorce: How can you divide yours?

As you move through each part of your divorce, you'll eventually come to the point where you have to talk about dividing your property. One of the harder things to do is to talk openly about who should take on debt following your divorce, especially if that debt was created by both parties.

The biggest question couples have is how to divide those debts in a way that is fair and that releases them from further obligations. Dividing your debts may not mean much if you're both still listed as potential payors, and it could mean that you would remain on the hook if the other party didn't pay.

The order of divorce and bankruptcy can help save money

Financial stress is a big problem in marriages or any other arrangement that combines emotions with the practical issues of life. Although it may not have as much to do with a relationship as it may seem, a couple facing bankruptcy may need to deal with that issue before they should divorce.

There is no simple answer to this problem. It may be a good idea to declare bankruptcy before a divorce or it may be better to wait. It depends on several factors, including remaining assets and where a person may live.

What does legal separation mean in Saint Louis County, Missouri?

Like most states, Missouri divorce law allows couples to pursue a legal separation instead of terminating a marriage outright. Considered an alternative to divorce, the legal term for separation in the state is separate maintenance action. In many cases, couples may choose to pursue this alternative in the hopes of repairing any damage their relationship has suffered.

Some of the main reasons a couple may seek to separate legally rather than divorcing include the following.

  • It may make better financial sense to separate instead of getting a divorce
  • The couple suffers with significant religious differences
  • Parents may choose separation to protect the best interests of their kids
  • The couple wishes to continue working towards reconciliation

Daughter had to pay her own child support to keep mother free

139554202_s.jpgChild support can be a difficult obligation to fulfill in Missouri. Although it is necessary for the protection and growth of children, especially children affected by divorce or other issues their parents or guardians are going through, the need can put financial pressure on people and even result in jail time if they cannot fulfill them.

A woman living in Vernon County with her boyfriend made the news recently when she was unable to make her child support payments. Her medical conditions made it difficult to work and make the required money, so her daughter helped her make the payments and avoid an arrest warrant.

Starting on a custody plan? You can ask for support

115425539_s.jpgYou love your children, and you want to make sure you get plenty of time with them. At the same time, you know that your ex-spouse is a good person and also deserves a chance to be with your kids. So, you both have had discussions about how to split custody.

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, neither of you can decide on the best way to divide custody. You have similar work schedules, and you both have similar preferences for the days of the week that you'd want to have custody. What can you do?

A postnuptial agreement can help during property division

91320463_s.jpgJust hearing the term property division typically strikes fear into the hearts of all Missouri residents getting divorced. The process is often messy, intimidating, stressful and emotionally devastating. However, it is an important part of getting divorced. Leaving the matter to chance could leave one spouse in financial trouble after the marriage has ended.

Those who enter matrimony with a prenuptial agreement in place have a good chance of reducing the negative fallout associated with property division. Unfortunately, most people do not have this important legal document in place at the time of divorce.

Understanding a Missouri collaborative divorce

84572916_s.jpgWhile there might be a perception that all divorces are contentious with the parties squabbling or outright fighting over every aspect of the case, there are some situations where there is relative stability and the couple can negotiate and agree on many issues. This can be useful to expedite the process and keep it civil or even friendly. A collaborative divorce seeks common ground so the case can be settled with as little rancor as possible. The sides will discuss the facts of the case and find areas where they can agree. A key to a collaborative divorce is to have legal advice.

In a collaborative divorce, it can be especially beneficial for child-related issues. Custody, visitation and support are often the foundation for disagreement. If the people can look at the child's best interests and see things from the perspective of the other side, it can be useful to settle the case amicably. It can also be an effective method to address property disputes, spousal support and more. Rather than go to court in a contested divorce or even an uncontested divorce, the sides will meet and express their goals and desires. If there is common ground, a settlement is possible.

Prenuptial agreements must be carefully drafted

124366381_s.jpgPrevious posts on this blog have discussed premarital agreements, which are also commonly referred to as prenuptial agreements or even just prenups.

To review, a prenuptial agreement allows a couple, prior to marriage, to set out rights and responsibilities between themselves with respect to their finances.

What will happen to my 401(k) plan?

73144588_s.jpgAlthough there are many types of retirement plans out there, many if not most people in the Saint Louis area have what is called a defined contribution plan like their employer's 401(k) plan.

As the name implies, an employee is free to make contributions into an investment fund that, in theory, will yield a return at a generous rate. These contributions have tax advantages and, in many cases, get partially matched dollar for dollar, up to a certain percentage of one's salary, by the employer.

How is an inheritance handled during divorce?

33873157_s.jpgInheritances fall under the property division process during divorce. As a result, divorcing spouses may have questions related to how an inheritance is handled during this process, as well as methods to protect an inherited asset or property from division when a marriage dissolves.

There are generally three categories property is divided into during the property division process. Marital property and separate property are the most common categories but commingled property is another classification that may come up. Marital property is generally subject to the property division process when the couple divorces but separate property is not. Marital property includes property, assets and income acquired during the couple's marriage.

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Other Office Locations

  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806: Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 25 Professional Park, Suite B, Maryville, Illinois 62062: Maryville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Shawnee County: 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612: Topeka Office
  • Tulsa County: 6660 S. Sheridan Road, Suite 240, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133:  Tulsa Office
  • Oklahoma County: 2601 NW Expressway, Suite 411 W, Oklahoma City, OK 73112:  Oklahoma City Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

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