Columbia Divorce Law Blog

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.

Restrictive divorce laws and divorce rate: any connection?

Missouri's neighboring state to the south, Arkansas, has a problem. It has a high divorce rate. And the legislature seems to have thought that the problem was divorce was just too easy to obtain. Being a legislature, they did what all legislature's do, the created a law.

That law makes it a very slow process to obtain a divorce. First, you have to separate for 18 months. Then after that year and a half wait, the actual divorce process will drag on for 540-days before it is complete. Yet, even with this drawn out process, the state still has the second highest divorce rate in the nation. 

Beware alienating the affections of your spouse

Divorce is always messy. With the ending of your relationship with your spouse and your need to separate your financial affairs as well as your personal affairs, you lose something else. Your privacy. By availing yourself of the state-operated machinery of the Missouri family courts, you have to disclose many intimate details of your relationship.

And that is when it is an amicable divorce. If there are allegations of questions of moral transgressions, it can become unpleasant rapidly. As with political campaigns, once the negativity commences, it can become a race to the bottom.

Is a Facebook addiction going to end your marriage?

Addictive and compulsive behavior can be damaging to any marriage. Alcohol and other drugs have broken many a marriage in Missouri, as one spouse demonstrates their true love for their chemical dependency, to the exclusion of the their real, human spouse.

Some have pointed to video game addictions as the source of friction ends the relationship that is the core of any marriage. And now comes social media in the guise of Facebook. A woman has admitted that spending too much time on Facebook cost her her marriage.

Sole custody can be more stressful for children

Children are amazingly resilient. This is a good thing, given the difficulties that many have to endure. And sometimes, what may be intuitively the most obvious, may not be correct.

Take for instance some studies that suggest that children who live in sterile environments are more prone to developing allergies than children who spend time less antiseptic homes. It seems the immune system needs to be challenged when children are young, and some environments are too clean. This appears to cause an overreaction to some exposures that lead to the development of allergies.

Child custody and co-parenting

Child custody is the legal arrangement that you and your former spouse create during your divorce. While the divorce severs the matrimonial ties of your relationship, if you have children, it does not change your status as parent. But your status as parent means you will have a type of relationship with your matrimonial ex. It is often referred to as co-parenting.

Co-parenting is different because with the dissolution of your marriage, many decisions that would have been ad hoc and worked out on the fly, now need to be understood in the context of your child custody agreement, legal custody and its decision making protocols. How do you decide what doctor you child sees? Or which church they attend or the summer camp they spend time at? 

Study finds increased heart attack risk for woman after divorce

No one will deny that, for most, divorce is an intense and emotionally trying process. A relationship that at one time was the most important in the world for you is now to be done away with, ended. It may be ending because you were too young, you did not understand what you really needed in a spouse or that you have grown apart, leading separate lives under the same roof.

Whatever reason, it's over. You might want to just walk away, but first, you have to tie up a few loose ends. Whether it is dividing your finances, separating bank and investment accounts and selling the family home to deciding on the custody arrangements and the details of your parenting plan, joint physical and legal custody or some variation, all of these fine points need to be taken care of before you walk away.

The pros and cons of establishing paternity

If you are the father of a child who was born outside of marriage, you may be wondering what legal steps you need to take — or if you need to take any steps at all.

You may have heard the term "paternity," and you may have been told that you should legally establish yourself as the father of your child, but why? Is it really worth it to jump through the legal hoops and complete all the paperwork? What are the advantages and disadvantages of establishing paternity in Missouri?

Roles during a divorce

It's important during a divorce to remember the roles all of the parties play. As a spouse, your role is to decide the direction you want to take, and work with your professionals to achieve that goal. Your professionals can all provide important advice and counsel during your divorce, but you have to ask the right questions of the right professionals.

Your attorney is there to handle the technical aspects of your divorce as a legal proceeding. They are they to ensure all documents are filed on time, with proper notice and that no deadlines are missed. They are there to advise you of your legal options with regard to all of the legal elements of your divorce, from how property is divided for your property settlement to helping you work through the details of creating a viable parent plan for your children.

Divorcing for the sake of your children?

When people discuss divorce between parents, the first thought is often, "But what about the children?" This is a natural impulse, and the aspects of child custody or the parenting plan, cost of child support, and the determination of where the children will live have a large role in the ultimate divorce settlement.

But the question often implies the children will suffer because their parents are divorcing. In this matter, we have to keep a few things straight. We must remember that the choice is not between the lives an idealized television family, like "Leave it to Beaver" and a divorce.

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