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St. Louis County & Midwest Family Law Blog
You can seek more than half your property, but is it fair?
You and your spouse have kept most of your assets separate. During your marriage, you focused on buying the things you needed for yourself and they bought what they needed for themselves. It was rare that you’d invest in anything that was truly shared, other than furniture or appliances.
Now that you’re divorcing, you find it shocking that your spouse is trying to keep many of the assets you purchased during the marriage. You had always thought that they’d be reasonable, but all of the assets you’ve acquired after your marriage are technically marital assets that they can seek in the divorce.
How does divorce affect property in Missouri?
No one is thinking about it when they say their vows, but roughly half of people who get married end up getting divorced. Divorce is usually not quite so simple, as people need to recreate individual lives with their own assets. So who gets what assets?
How does Missouri work out property division in a divorce?
Act quickly when you can no longer afford to pay child support
Getting a court order determining the amount of child support you must pay does not always mean you can afford the payments. However, you cannot simply stop making your payments, as this would result in significant legal consequences. It may also affect your relationship with your children.
In our experience serving Saint Louis County families, we have learned that nearly all parents want to provide for their kids. Unfortunately, life sometimes has an annoying way of making it hard to accomplish this goal. Losing a job, having your work hours reduced, facing a personal medical emergency – all these circumstances and many others can affect your ability to meet your child support obligations.
If you’re worried about parental kidnapping, you can get help
You’ve always worried that your spouse would try to run away with your children. They’d had some issues in the past where they’d go out for too long and not return the kids on time. Once, it was a full day later before you finally got a call from your ex to say that they were on their way.
The panic that you feel every time that happens is unfair and unacceptable. If your ex-spouse is not bringing your children to you or meeting you at an appropriate drop-off point on time, they’re violating your custody order.
Why would I need to claim child custody?
When it comes to your child, you leave nothing to chance. Didn’t you grow a new set of nerves the day your kid was born? Their pain becomes your pain, and you end up caring about little more than their well-being. So, what happens when you have to stand up for your right to be a full parent?
- Why would I need to claim child custody?
Separated parents in Missouri may have to submit a plan for child custody to a court in order have a divorce approved. If they do not work it out amongst themselves, a court may have to decide for them. Fathers who recently proved paternity may also have to file a claim.
- How do I get started?
Unexpected benefits often accompany Missouri legal separations
Making the difficult decision to end a marriage requires careful consideration. A divorce seems final and, in most cases, it is final. Rushing into divorce can turn into a big mistake for couples who are not 100% certain ending their marriage is the best option.
In Missouri, couples can seek a legal separation instead of a divorce. Although it may seem like a temporary solution, separation can be advantageous in some cases. One of the biggest advantages is giving couples time and space to consider the possibility of saving their relationship. However, it also offers several other benefits, many of them unexpected.
Can’t divide your assets? A judge will do it for you
Divorce is tricky for even the calmest couples, because there can be a large amount of money or a great number of assets at stake. Since Missouri is an equitable distribution state, judges can decide how to divide your property for you in a way that they believe is fair based on your contributions to your marriage.
To avoid having a total stranger divide your assets, it’s a good idea to work with your spouse to divide your property instead. Some of the assets you may need to divide include:
- Your home
- A vacation home
- Bank account holdings
- Retirement accounts
Child support is vital for a child
The concept of child support is very broad, as it takes a lot of people to create the right environment for kids. However, there are only a few people who are directly responsible for a child’s safety and upbringing. In most cases, these are parents, but what if they can’t support a child together?
There are many concepts in the law and society that help divorced or separated parents work out their differences and give a child the best chance at a happy childhood. They include child custody as a clarification for how children will be raised,
Understanding what the ‘best interests of the child’ doctrine
Parents involved in a divorce worry about how it will affect their children, especially when it comes to child custody. Some of the specific concerns divorcing parents in Saint Louis County experience include:
- Will my divorce damage my children mentally and emotionally?
- How can I know what custody arrangements are best for my kids?
- Will my past mistakes affect my child custody rights?
- What if my spouse tries to take our children away from me?
We know that you might not trust the court enough to make important decisions on behalf of you and your kids. While this is understandable, you may take comfort from knowing that courts across the nation strive to put children of divorce first under the best interests of the child doctrine.
What should you know about credit and divorce?
While divorcing, one of the things you and your spouse will need to deal with is your marital estate. Your estate will need to be divided. When you do that, you should keep in mind that changing the arrangement of your accounts can have an impact on your credit.
To start with, you should know that there are two kinds of accounts, individual or joint. Joint accounts have both your name and your spouse’s name attached. You may want to close joint accounts before or following your divorce and to move your assets or debts into new, separate accounts.
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