Columbia Divorce Law Blog

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.

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.

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