Columbia Divorce Law Blog

Missouri families may find apps to help with child support issues

A child support agreement may be somewhat easy to reach at the time of a divorce. But, as a child grows or needs change, aspects of that agreement may no longer work or certain situations may not be included in the agreement. One area of contention that may require modification of an agreement or additional support for parents may be unforeseen or extra expenses. Missouri families may find there are certain apps available that families can use and incorporate into a child support modification.

One app available tracks not only child support payments, but it also tracks those extra expenses. SupportPay can track extra expenses and payments, like medical bills, that one or both parents pay. This way of documenting the exchange of payments and who paid what can also be used in court if a dispute arises between parents.

Star seeks child support reduction in court

When a parent seeks a modification of a child support order, it may typically entail a parent seeking more support than she or he currently receives. However, parents may also seek a child support modification based on the belief that they are paying much more than what is necessary for the care and welfare of a shared child in Missouri. Recently, movie star Halle Berry went to court to seek a reduction in the amount of child support she pays her ex-boyfriend.

Berry, who is 48 years old, had a child in 2008 with her then boyfriend, a model she met at a photo shoot. The couple broke up in 2010. She pays $16,000 a month in child support for the child. She reportedly believes the amount, which is $192,000 a year, is being used so her ex-boyfriend can refrain from having to work.

Missouri couples can prepare for financial costs of divorce

Whether or not a divorce is expected, amicable or highly contentious, the finances of both parties will be affected. Missouri couples can work to minimize the unpredictability of their financial future by preparing and understanding how a divorce will affect short-term and long-term finances. While each couple may be different on the socio-economic scale, certain financial ramifications of divorce are universal.

The fate of the couple's home or family home must be decided and will affect finances just as much as it affects where a person lives. Some may find there is an emotional connection to the family home, especially when there are children in the picture. However, the home may be too expensive for a parent to keep on his or her own. This may mean, despite emotions, a smaller home or renting a place is the best option when the financial reality is outlined.

Unique child support options becoming more popular

For most every family, child support is not just about a number arbitrarily assigned in family court. Child support in general is meant to secure the care and welfare of a child, and that definition is evolving for many. Missouri families and others may have noticed that, for some families, child support is being paid in more unique and equally effective ways aside from a traditional check each month.

Low-income parents who owe support may have a difficult time coming up with a certain amount at a certain time. This does not mean they have walked away or have failed to live up to their parental responsibility. According to a new study, a lot of non-custodial fathers in major cities across the country give what has been labeled as "in-kind" support to children. This refers to buying actual items that are needed or otherwise spending directly on the children in need of support.

Things to consider as a property division agreement moves forward

Any split can lead to a property division dispute or obstacles to finding a fair and equitable settlement. For Missouri couples, there are certain details to consider first before agreeing to or signing a property division agreement. While each couple may be unique, certain aspects of an agreement can be quite common and should be realized ahead of time.

One common complication can be if there are minor children to consider. The needs of those children, particularly housing and transportation, can weigh heavily on who gets the house or a family vehicle. If there is a disabled child or disabled spouse, a property division agreement may have to reflect those individual needs when it comes to the house or certain specially equipped vehicles.

Property division and the family home

For any divorcing couple, decisions about property division details can mean trying to find a way to divide a whole life together. One major property division decision typically involves the family home. For many Missouri families, this can be the most important and emotional decision during divorce proceedings.

The home may be a source of stability for couples with children. A relatively new notion called nesting is where both parents remain in the home after a divorce. This is done for the sake of the children and can be accomplished by making use of a guest bedroom for one of the parents.

Can divorce cause health problems?

It was once thought that the end of a long-term relationship could lead to health problems for former partners. However, Missouri readers may be interested to know that new studies suggest that middle-age Americans who divorce are just as healthy as their married peers. It is possible, even likely, that divorce has a minimal impact on overall health. 

Interestingly, the data collected during the study suggested that those who divorced and remarried did not have an increased chance of respiratory issues and cardiovascular problems. It is a commonly accepted fact that those who are married have better overall health than those who are unmarried or divorced. However, this study revealed that those who divorce often revert back to their pre-divorce health status.

Alleging bizarre behavior, dad seeks child custody

Once a marriage is dissolved or annulled, a couple will need to work together if there are children involved and share decision-making responsibilities. When the marriage dissolves and there are allegations of abuse, child custody issues may be more difficult for parties to decipher on their own. Court intervention by Missouri family court professionals can ensure parental rights are respected and serious issues are handled fairly and with the best interests of the children in mind.

One child custody case making news pertains to a father' fight to gain custody and sole decision-making responsibilities for his minor children. The couple was married for more than two decades and have four minor children and one adult child. Upon the marriage being annulled, the father alleges the mother was unwilling to communicate with him pertaining to important matters, such as medical issues and the children's education.

Financial changes during divorce need to be explored

The financial changes that affect both parties during and after a divorce reach far beyond the amount ordered for alimony or child support. Understanding the unique changes that can impact each family is the first step to minimizing the financial shock and ensuring a smooth transition for all. Missouri couples can pre-plan and work with professionals who can provide invaluable tips as a divorce moves forward and even years after a final judgment, if need be.

One piece of advice for all parties is to track expenses. When it comes to splitting the cost of child rearing, technology may be an asset in order to keep track of who spends what on the child. Parents have to abide by court orders, but working together to use software to track extras may help ensure full accountability and compliance. For others, sharing financial information may be difficult, especially if there is a great deal of animosity. This could require court intervention to ensure that appropriate information is shared.

Temporary order granted in international child custody case

Many child custody cases are not simply decided after one hearing. It is not unusual for temporary orders to be handed down in situations in which a family's needs or the children's need evolve over time. When a case crosses Missouri state lines or even international borders, the process of determining child custody can be complex and time consuming for the parents and the children involved.

Kelly Rutherford, a television actress known for her role on the show "Gossip Girl", has found herself in the news lately because of her plight to regain custody of her two children. The actress and her ex-husband married in 2006. They divorced in 2010 and have a 5-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son together.

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