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St. Louis County & Midwest Family Law Blog

What will happen to my 401(k) plan?

Although 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.

Illinois man arrested for child abduction amid custody dispute

101848414_s.jpgIn Saint Louis and other areas in the Midwest, divorce can bring about some of the most contentious and emotional issues. Take, for example, child custody disputes. While parents should be focused on the needs and best interests of the child or children involved in the divorce process, the reality is that children could be improperly used to be hurtful and spiteful against an ex. In other cases, a parent may fight to keep a child with them because they truly believe that would serve their best interests. No matter the reason, when a child custody dispute arises and a custody order is violated, dire consequences can arise, as seen in one recent case.

There, a man from Aurora was charged with child abduction. This charge stemmed from a supposed child custody dispute that occurred last month. It is unclear if this dispute was related to the holidays that recently occurred. Preliminary reports indicate that the 48-year-old man was arrested and charged with two counts of child abduction, which is a class four felony.

What is an uncontested divorce and how does one work?

82083493_s.jpgUnderstanding how an uncontested divorce is different from a divorce that is being contested is helpful for divorcing couples to understand. Divorcing couples should ensure they have all of their questions answered about the divorce process and how an uncontested divorce works when compared to a contested divorce.

In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and are not contesting the issues related to their divorce. Because the divorcing couple is not contesting any of the divorce-related issues that must be resolved during the divorce process, they are able to enjoy a more streamlined divorce process that may be more efficient. An uncontested divorce can save the divorcing couple time, money and acrimony so it is worth knowing if the divorcing couple meets the requirements for an uncontested divorce.

Known as divorce month, January sees an influx in divorce filings

33445807_s.jpgMany things are on the minds of parents during the holidays. For many, it is to ensure that their children are able to spend quality time with their children, celebrating it with as much joy as possible. The holidays can be a challenging time for parents whose relationship has hit a breaking point; however, even when an impending end is near, many parents will hold off on filing for divorce until after the holidays.

January is known as divorce month, and many family law firms gear up during this time of year to prepare for the influx in divorce filing. The first half of January is when law firms see a huge uptick in new clients and divorce filings. According to Google trends, it is also the time when "divorce parties" is searched for the most. In fact, this query rose 21% from December 2018 to January 2019. A similar increase is expected for this upcoming January.

Important child support considerations during divorce

51560552_s.jpgMoney is often the source of many disputes. This is especially true for divorcing parents in Missouri and other Midwestern states.

Having to pay the other parent child support can be a challenging divorce issue to work through because some parents do not look at these funds as being for the child. However, passing this money onto an ex is for the benefit of the child or children involved, allowing for that parent to properly meet the needs of the child and provide them a similar lifestyle they were used to.

The basics of third-party visitation rights

24878909_s.jpgThird-party visitation rights are an important part of the child custody process to be familiar with. Referred to as third-party visitation rights, nonparent visitation rights or sometimes grandparent visitation, parents and families facing child custody concerns should be familiar with all of the different types of child custody, including third-party child custody.

Third-party, or grandparent, visitation rights can include other family members as well. In addition to third-party visitation, third-party custody may also be possible in certain situations based on certain circumstances if it is in the best interests of the child. Third-party, or grandparent, visitation rights oftentimes come up when the child's parents are divorced and the custodial parent may not want the grandparents in the child's life. If the children would benefit from having their grandparents in their life, and the family law court determines the grandparent or third-party custody request would be in the best interests of the child, the third-party visitation request may be granted.

Helping you secure, modify or enforce child support

20541979_s.jpgBecoming a parent is a major role for any individual in Missouri and elsewhere. It not only takes a lot of work and dedication but it also takes finances to raise a child. Many may not fully expect the amount of money that goes in to provide the needs for a child, and this amount can feel significant when parents divorce and one parent is ordered to pay child support.

At the Stange Law Firm, P.C., our experienced attorneys have worked through a wide range of child support matters. In some cases, they are fairly straightforward and are negotiated to amicable results. Others can be high-conflict, causing a lengthy battle to ensure child support payment is not only established but also enforced.

Emergency military service may modify child support order

124533837_s.jpgFor noncustodial parents, a child support obligation can take a financial toll. Even those parents who agree to a certain amount of child support, the weekly payments can quickly eat into savings and make it difficult to build a financial safety net. This is especially true when changed circumstances reduce a noncustodial parent's income. Whether on account of reduced hours or decreased pay, noncustodial parents who see their income drop may be able to successfully seek a child support modification, which would reduce their weekly obligation.

One group of people may be able to secure this modification relatively quickly: those who are called into emergency military service. Under Missouri law, an individual is called into emergency military service when he or she is a member of the National Guard or some sort of other reserve unit and is called up to active military duty for a period of time in excess of 30 days. If this occurs, then the individual needs to secure a notarized letter from his or her commanding officer. This letter must specify when the emergency military service commenced as well as the noncustodial parent's income.

The different names for spousal support and how it works

57098523_s.jpgThere are several different names that may be used to refer to the support one former spouse may pay to the other following a divorce. Terms such as spousal support, spousal maintenance and alimony all may be used to refer to generally the same thing which can be a major concern for divorcing spouses to understand.

Spousal support may be requested during divorce by one spouse and it can either be negotiated and agreed upon by the spouses or if one of the spouses contests spousal support or they cannot agree, the family law court can help determine spousal support. Each state follows certain guidelines to calculate spousal support. Spousal support may be appropriate, for instance, for the spouse that remained in the home to care for it and the children.

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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 (opens 2/20):  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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