Columbia Divorce Law Blog

Don't get taken advantage of during a divorce in Missouri

It can be easy to go along with decisions or agreements in the spirit of getting a divorce over with. Anyone in Missouri who is embarking on a divorce can benefit from learning how to protect oneself in order to avoid being taken advantage of when it comes to finances. Understanding debts and assets in general is necessary to ensure an equitable property division agreement.

Both parties will want to have copies of all financial documents. This is especially true for the one who is not the primary wage earner. The records involved include bank statements, tax documents and retirement account statements. All martial property must be evaluated. Having an accurate value assigned to these items is the best way to avoid giving up what may be rightfully due in a divorce settlement.

Be financially prepared for a divorce in the New Year

The New Year brings many changes for everyone. If a divorce is on the table after the holiday dishes are cleared, there are steps individuals should take to ensure a fair and smooth transition. Missouri residents should be particularly concerned with getting financial ducks in a row if a divorce is to unfold in the New Year.

Part of a divorce is naturally the splitting of financial assets and accounts. In order to be prepared, each person must realize what that person needs to make it on his or her own. This requires an assembly of all financial documents and a realistic idea of what is needed to live on after a divorce unfolds. Taking action to open individual bank accounts and take care of individual credit is also encouraged and necessary as the process moves forward.

Football player pays high amount of child support

Regardless of the number of children fathered by an individual, child support is ordered for each and every one of them. The amount of child support that may be ordered by a New York family court it essentially based on the income of the parents, even if that income is not guaranteed for the child's entire childhood. Missouri parents worried about the cost of child support and what to do about an uncertain income may be interested in the story of an NFL player who has been ordered to pay around $336,000 in child support each year.

The football player has eight children to seven different women. He is also married and has two children with his wife. It was recently announced she is currently pregnant with twins. In total, the man will be the father of 12 children. He has been ordered to pay $3,500 a month for each child and estimates indicate he will be paying around $336,000 a year for all support obligations.

Know the facts about divorce and Social Security benefits

When a couple is married, benefits are split and shared in one way or another. Once a divorce unfolds, naturally, finances become separate and so do many benefits which were once shared. Even though wages become separate, many people may be unaware of how Social Security benefits work after a divorce and what rights an ex-spouse may have regarding Social Security payments in Missouri.

The timing of the divorce makes all the difference in how Social Security benefits may or may not be split. If the marriage lasts for more than 10 years, an ex-spouse may claim a portion of that Social Security benefit. If the marriage lasts for less than 10 years or the 10 years of marriage is not consecutive, then an ex-spouse will not qualify for spousal benefits.

Child custody needs to be addressed when split unfolds

There is perhaps no other area of law that evokes more emotion and a sense of urgency than child custody. The child custody process can be contentious, difficult and complex for everyone involved as a divorce unfolds, and the process can continue as the needs and circumstances of those involved change. For Missouri families, it is imperative that parents know the complications and responsibilities that surround matters of both physical custody and legal custody.

Legal custody refers to the power a parent has to make decisions for and about the child. These decisions can include religious teachings or decisions about education. Also, healthcare decisions are included if a parent has legal custody of a child.

Gray divorce may pose financial challenges in Missouri

The process of getting divorced poses unique challenges for every couple. However when that split comes after decades of marriage, those challenges may make the divorce more difficult for one party compared to the other. A gray divorce is the term used for couples who have been married for 30 or more years, and the trend is rising in Missouri and across the United States.

While the exact challenges may vary by couple, one trend is common among those in the midst of a gray divorce. The woman was usually a stay-at-home mom, and the husband was the breadwinner. This often translates to older women not being fully aware of the finances and not being prepared to fight for or handle any financial assets she may be entitled to during a divorce.

Understanding the facts about property division in Missouri

When a divorce unfolds, the process known as property division begins. While an equitable split is the ultimate goal, this is easier said than done for most people going through a divorce and the property division process in Missouri. There are certain steps to take, and all parties must consider their individual needs and wants, which will all naturally vary depending on the individuals involved.

First and foremost, items and assets need to be labeled as either marital property or non-marital property. Marital property refers to assets that are gained during the marriage. Non-marital property refers to items brought into the marriage by one party. However, non-marital property does not just stop there. Inheritances and certain gifts can be considered non-marital property also.

Missouri parents can avoid child custody mistakes during divorce

Custody agreements between divorcing parents can be difficult to decipher and life circumstances can mean that changes need to be made well after an agreement is reached. While a child custody agreement is in the works, Missouri parents may want to avoid a few common mistakes that can make the process harder on everyone. The avoidance of these mistakes or missteps early in the process can offset disputes or difficulties down the road.

One common mistake parents may unwittingly make is allowing the child to pick where he or she will stay. While this may be age appropriate in some cases, experts warn it can place unneeded stress on the child. One reason it is a mistake is that it can make the child feel as if he or she is hurting the feelings of the other parent.

Holidays pose challenges to child custody in Missouri

The holiday season is chaotic and hurried enough. When there are issues related to disputes or disagreements regarding child custody, Missouri parents may need to seek outside legal help. While parenting plans are usually explicit and detailed when it comes to holiday breaks and custody arrangements, these plans may not work year after year and may need to be revisited and renegotiated.

One common source of strife is the actual time split between parents. Typically, parents may split the long holiday break in half with one parent taking a child for the first half then the other until school resumes. Holiday breaks change year after year and this may make an even split impossible. Also, certain religious observances celebrated by one parent may fall during the other parent's time, creating strife or the need for reworking the days.

Know the financial facts before filing for divorce in Missouri

Divorce is more than an emotional decision to dissolve a marriage. It is also a financial decision, even when the divorce is amicable or has been in the works for some time. Before filing for divorce and during the entire process, Missouri residents will want to focus on how finances can be impacted and what actions they should take to protect themselves.

First of all, it is important to know the financial reality of the situation. For the person who does not handle the finances, this may mean some research. Both parties, but particularly the one uncertain of the financial picture, should take the time to gather important documents related to accounts and assets. This may include bank statements and credit card statements. It makes good sense to pay attention to the other person's spending habits during a separation, including any loans or new credit cards, as these expenditures can impact both parties before the divorce is final.

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