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St. Louis County & Midwest Family Law Blog

Child support and the skyrocketing cost of daycare

28496312_S.jpgThere is no doubt that the cost of raising a child is enormous. Many parents in the Midwest find themselves struggling to make ends meet, even when both parents are living and working together to meet financial obligations. Oftentimes, however, parents don't live together, which can make sharing the financial responsibility of raising a child even more difficult. These circumstances usually give rise to child support disputes that must be appropriately addressed in order to reach a favorable outcome.

As we have discussed previously on this blog, child support can encompass a whole host of expenses. One of the biggest amongst them is childcare. Although some parents are lucky enough to have family members nearby who are willing to watch their children for free, a significant number of parents must pay a daycare to provide that service. These costs can be overwhelming, especially considering that a parent can expect to shell out anywhere form $300 to $1,500 or more per month to have a daycare center take care of their baby or toddler.

Many contemplate divorce during the summer

39879824_S.jpgSummer is here. Kids are out of school and family vacations are underway. This may be a joyous time for many, but for others, spending more time together only highlights familial strife. Spouses can find themselves bickering over finances, personalities can clash, and differences in parenting styles can be accentuated. This is why there is often an uptick in divorces once the summer comes to an end and children return to school. In fact, a study from 2016 found that March and August see spikes in divorce rates, which can continue for months after children return to school.

One of the keys to a successful divorce is thorough planning that starts months in advance. The summer can be a great time to gather information that is pertinent to marriage dissolution. Individuals should consider the extent of marital assets and think about discussing them with a financial planner and a divorce attorney. Other records should be obtained, too, including those pertaining to debt, such as credit card statements.

Founding Partner Kirk C. Stange Featured in Latest Issue of Lawyer Monthly Magazine

Stange-091-web.jpgStange Law Firm, P.C. Founding Partner Kirk C. Stange was recently featured in the July 2019 issue of Lawyer Monthly Magazine. The four-page Q&A-style feature, titled "Important Divorce and Family Law Issues," touches on all of the factors we should consider when splitting up in divorce: from pensions to hidden assets. Mr. Stange also discusses elements that your attorney should bring to the table to assist you in your matter. 

How a military divorce is different from a civilian divorce

Military divorces can have different concerns f106323437_S.jpgrom civilian divorces that military couples should be familiar with. While there are similarities, the military divorce process can be somewhat different in some respects which is why familiarity with the process is helpful for divorcing military spouses.

Military divorces will address property division, alimony, child support and child custody issues just like civilian divorces. The family law process can help both military spouses and non-military spouses with these concerns. In military divorces, however, there may be differences compared to civilian divorces related to support payment compliance, services of process, residency and filing requirements and the division of a military pension. One example is that spousal maintenance or alimony may be enforced through a court order, garnishment or a voluntary or involuntary allotment in military divorce circumstances.

Military divorce and military retirement payments

29126899_S.jpgThe Midwest has its fair share of brave men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. These service members put their lives on the line to ensure that we are safe at home. In addition to putting their own safety at risk, though, these men and women oftentimes find themselves dealing with personal matters while away from home. This can, and often does, include divorce.

A military divorce is like any other divorce in many respects, but it also has its own set of rules that must be followed. Child custody matters, for example, are still addressed utilizing the best interests of the child. Property division, on the other hand, can be a more complex affair. One reason is because certain assets, like military pensions, are treated more like property than income. This means that couples that have been married for a significant period of time while one spouse was in the military may have to divide those retirement payments.

Our firm knows how to handle child custody cases

32239979_S.jpgAs we discussed previously on this blog, child custody and visitation determinations are made based on the bests interests of the child involved. Although some couples are able to work together to come to an arrangement that they feel furthers those interests, in many instances parents disagree with each other. In these circumstances, the matter may be left for a judge to decide, which can be a scary proposition considering he or she may know little, if anything, about one's family.

Since the best interests of the child standard is extremely subjective, the issue is often ripe for legal argument. Midwesterners can therefore work closely with a skilled legal team, like the one at our firm, to gather pertinent evidence and present it in a persuasive fashion. This evidence can be challenging to obtain and difficult to elicit from some witnesses, which is why the assistance of a family law attorney often proves invaluable.

What couples with a business should do during divorce

65947284_S.jpgHigh net worth divorces, especially those that involve businesses and business assets, can mean additional complexities beyond a typical divorce. How a business and business assets will be handled is a common and understandable concern during a divorce when a business is involved.

High asset divorces can require specialized attention and expertise. When the couple are business owners, the divorcing spouses will likely be concerned about how the business will be impacted by the divorce and the divorce process. How the divorce impacts a business has an impact on the couple's livelihood and the business they likely spent years building. How property division impacts the business in a divorce impacts control of the business and the income and assets of the business.

How to handle a business during property division

68026067_S.jpgThe division of marital property can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce, and for good reason. The outcome of this matter often sets the stage for one's post-divorce finances, which means that a poorly negotiated divorce settlement or improperly handled litigation of the matter can lead to long-term financial strife. This is why it is often advisable for Midwesterners who are considering divorce to work closely with a legal advocate who can help them advance their position and secure a firm financial foundation for their life post-divorce.

This help may be especially useful when a business is involved in a divorce. Generally speaking, there are three ways a business can be dealt with through the marriage dissolution process. The first way is for one spouse to keep the business by buying out the other spouse. Although the spouse who plans to buy out the other spouse may not have enough cash up front to settle the matter, a divorce agreement can specify payments to be made over time or more lopsided division of other assets to even things out.

Unpaid child support can result in serious penalties

9949954_S.jpgIt goes without saying that child support is meant to ensure that a child's best interests can be met and that the responsibility of raising a child is shared as equally as possible amongst a child's parents. Yet, while the focus of child support is on a child, and rightfully so, the issue can have serious ramifications for adults. The amount of child support owed can cause financial strain to either a custodial or noncustodial parent depending on the circumstances and the specifics of a child support order, but those who accumulate arrearages can face additional penalties that can wreak havoc on their lives.

One Missouri man's case serves as an example of how devastating child support issues can be. The man, who served 12 years in prison, secured a job as a trucker which, due to his criminal record, was one of the better jobs he could obtain. While the man was in prison, though, his child support obligation to his two children remained unchanged. As a result, he acquired significant arrearages.

Child custody and parental relocation

35992728_S.jpgChild custody and visitation can be two of the most hotly contested family law issues. When parents split, each often has a different idea about how to raise a child and what actions further that child's best interests. Disputes may arise with regard to a parent's activities, such as domestic violence and substance abuse, and financial consideration may also come into play.

Another common issue that arises is parental relocation. In today's mobile society, it's not uncommon for individuals to regularly move to be closer to family, secure new job opportunities or acquire new life experiences. When that move involves a child who is subject to a custody order, though, moving isn't as easy as packing up and hitting the road. Instead, notice must be given to the child's noncustodial parent. If, after 60 days, the noncustodial parent fails to file an objection to relocation, then the move can occur.

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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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