Columbia Divorce Law Blog

Resources and resolutions for child support problems

When a parent has a difficult time meeting a child support obligation, that parent and child can suffer any number of adverse effects. When a parent is behind, unemployed or incarcerated, his or her ability to meet a child support obligation can be terribly compromised. Unfortunately, a parents in Missouri may have no idea what to do to catch up or what resources are available to help both the child and parent avoid the negative consequences of missed child support payments and increasing child support debt.

Some states are taking the approach of educating parents. Some parents have been unaware or confused as to why buying food or clothes for a child does not count as support. Others seem to be unsure of the steps to take if they lose a job or need a reduction in support. Classes and reminders sent through the mail have shown to be effective in helping parents understand the system, and the classes have seen an increase in attendance in one state.

Consider alimony facts when going through divorce in Missouri

The plethora of decisions that need to be made when a divorce is being settled can be endless and greatly depends on the individuals involved. For some people going through divorce in Missouri, alimony may be one of those issues that needs to be discussed and negotiated. Before agreeing to pay, receive or forgo any kind of alimony agreement, it is best to have a clear idea of the facts and the issues that may impact the role of alimony during and after a divorce.

Alimony is determined based on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage. The income generated by both spouses or an individual party also affects alimony. The ability of each person to work and earn a living, along with any pertinent health issues, may also play a role in whether alimony is ordered and the length of time for which alimony is ordered.

Paternity issues affect Missouri parents and children

The establishment of paternity influences many aspects of the parents' lives and the lives of the children involved. Missouri parents need to understand just what will or can happen after paternity is established. This includes how paternity will impact their own rights because it will open the door to obligations they may not have thought of beforehand.

Legal orders of support can be established once paternity is established. This will include a child support order. Other forms of financial support may also be ordered as a result, such as past expenses related to the child. This can even include birthing expenses.

Missouri couples need to consider property division carefully

The decision about whether to keep a family home after a divorce can be one of the most complicated decisions a couple has to make. Those pursuing divorce in Missouri need to weigh the pros and cons of keeping their homes. Both parties should be aware of the financial ramifications of all the actions they take regarding property division.

Often, spouses sell their home and split the equity as part of their property division agreement. However, if one party wants to stay in the home, that person may have to pursue a mortgage in his or her own name. That party first needs to qualify for a mortgage or make arrangements with the other spouse to help financially.

Pet issues may be included in property division agreements

Property division issues can get complicated for any family going through a divorce. While child custody issues have their own unique place in family court, the decision as to where a beloved family pet may end up is considered part of the property division process. Missouri courts and courts all over the country have seen a rise in cases where the fate of the family pet, typically a dog, must be decided as part of a divorce.

One common way of deciding who basically gets the dog follows whatever the plan may be in place for any children involved. The family pet can simply go with the children. As simple as that may sound, it may not always be a feasible solution, particularly if there are no children involved. In some cases, it will be decided who brought the pet into the marriage, and a decision will be based off of that.

Grandmother flees to reservation to avoid child custody issue

The laws governing reservations in the United States and the rights and protections of those on reservations can be in direct conflict with the state law or rights of individuals outside of the reservation. A child custody case is currently unfolding as a dispute between a father and grandmother of two children leads to that grandmother seeking refuge on a reservation. Those in Missouri who have tribal affiliations may be interested in the grandmother's actions and potential consequences.

The case making news involves the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. The mother of the two boys is a member of the tribe. The grandmother took the boys there as they were living with her at the time she was ordered to turn them over to the biological father in another state. While on the reservation, she cannot be arrested for not abiding by the court order.

Child custody decisions involve several components

When parents separate and need to make important decisions regarding minor children, there is a lot more to consider than just where a child will sleep at night. There are two separate elements in most every child custody case. Missouri parents often must address issues concerning both legal custody and physical custody, and it is important to understand the difference between the two.

Legal custody refers to the actual decision making that needs to be handled by a parent, whether the child is with that parent at that time or not. For example, legal custody gives a parent the right to make decisions and have a say in matters concerning a child's education and health care. Religious decisions involve input from a parent who has legal custody of a child. Legal custodial rights may be shared by both parents regardless of the time a child spends with each parent.

Divorce proceedings continue for high-profile couple

While some divorces may be timely and some agreements are easily reached, others may be more contentious and some disputes take longer to resolve. This seems to be the case for a high-profile couple whose divorce has gone on for over a year. Missouri couples with prenuptial agreements may be able to relate to the disagreement the couple is having regarding a prenuptial agreement, among other sticking points.

The husband is the founder of the hedge fund Citadel. He filed for divorce in 2014 and says there is a prenuptial agreement in effect that was signed in 2003. The husband says the wife was counseled by legal professionals when she signed the agreement and claims that she has already gotten $40 million from the prenuptial agreement terms.

Pursuing divorce in Missouri takes preparation

The decision to seek a divorce is not one that is typically taken lightly. In addition, making the decision to proceed with a divorce is merely the beginning. Regardless of how long a couple has been married or how much they may have accumulated in assets, there are certain steps that must be taken. Missouri couples may find the following steps to be essential as each party strives toward reaching a full and fair resolution of all important issues.

One first and vital step is to gather important financial documents. This includes tax returns, credit card statements, mortgage documents and other financial records. Credit must also be taken into consideration by both parties. Once a divorce is on the table, it is recommended for each party to obtain a copy of his or her credit report and make note of any errors and possible activity on joint credit card accounts.

Issues with paternity involve serious legal decisions

The process of establishing paternity of a child should be taken seriously as it can affect every aspect of a parent or potential parent's life. Paternity can also impact a Missouri parent's finances in every way. Regardless of the relationship between two parents, legal support and guidance for any paternity issue can help ensure the process is fair and that the rights of parents and children are respected and upheld.

The process of establishing legal paternity leads to important decisions being made. Some of those decisions pertain to basic support. Other financial matters related to the child will also be determined once paternity is legally established. A legal child support order will be drafted, and representation can help address any unique circumstances involved.

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