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Springfield Divorce & Family Law Blog

Judge in Trump Jr.'s divorce case praises couple's collaboration

11419850_S.jpgGiven the emotions that can go into divorce proceedings in Springfield, it may be easy for many to see how and why they can become so contentious. Particular matters (such as child custody) can become particularly nasty due to what is at stake. Yet even with the potential for discord that exist amongst a divorcing couple, the parties involved may be advised to put aside their differences and come to an amicable agreement for the best interests of the children at the center of such disputes. 

The judge presiding over the divorce case of Donald Trump Jr. and his estranged wife praised the couple in recent proceedings for being able to accomplish such a task. The couple filed for divorce earlier this year after almost 13 years of marriage. News recently surfaced that they were able to come up with their own agreement regarding the custody of their five children. Their join efforts allowed the couple to complete their initial custody hearing to be completed in just 10 minutes. The pair also appeared to be amiable towards each other during proceedings. The judge commended them for their behavior and even offered assistance in helping them to resolve any future matters. Such cooperation is also expected as the two sort through their financial affairs. 

How to create a co-parenting plan

13310191_S.jpgIf you share child custody with your ex, you likely know that co-parenting can be a real challenge. That's why it's essential for parents in Missouri to create a solid co-parenting plan, which provides guidance when making important child-rearing decisions. Psychology Today offers tips on creating a co-parenting plan that works for your whole family.

Cooperation Is a Must

Explaining Missouri's alimony laws

60726244_S.jpgWhen a couple chooses to divorce in Springfield, one (or both) sides might automatically assume that they are entitled to alimony. This is likely due to the notion that many view the rewarding of alimony or spousal support payments as some sort of punitive action. In reality, that is not the case at all. Spousal support is rather a means to help one spouse who might be economically disadvantaged compared to the other support him or herself until such point as he or she is able to secure gainful employment and regain a similar financial standing to the one enjoyed while he or she was still married. 

The decision to reward alimony, however, is not automatic. Rather, according to Section 452.335 of Missouri's Revised Statutes, the court considers a number of different factors when determining whether it is even warranted. Some of these include: 

  • The duration of a marriage (as well as the standard of living a couple enjoyed during that time)
  • The financial resources and earning capacity of each party involved
  • The obligations and debts each party assumes as part of a divorce agreement
  • The age and physical capabilities of each party
  • The amount of time needed for the party requesting maintenance to be trained or educated to the point of being able to secure employment

Judge facing discipline for intervening in custody case

53676530_S.jpgDivorce proceedings in Springfield can often become emotional given the stakes involved. However, participants in such cases rely on the fair and unbiased guidance of court professional in order to keep things on task. It is this very lack of connection between the parties involved which affords judges and other officers of the court the authority to render valid judgments. Were one such official to have ties to one side, ethical standards may require that he or she excuse him or herself from the proceedings in order to avoid the impression that one party might be privy to favorable treatment. 

A recent case involving a judge in New Jersey illustrates why this is absolutely necessary. She has become subject to professional discipline for intervening in a custody case involving a former associate. According to reports, she called a local police station claiming that she was the emergent judge on call, and that an attorney had contacted claiming that his client's ex-husband had taken custody of the children despite a court order saying they were to spend Mother's Day with their mom. It was later discovered that not only was the judge not on call, but that the court order she referenced never existed and the phone call with the attorney never occurred. Subsequent investigations revealed that the judge knew the mother in the case, and that she lied to allow the woman to retain custody during the holiday. 

What is "alienation of affection?"

36086326_S.jpgOf all of the elements that can contribute to a divorce, infidelity might be the most difficult to deal with. Your disappointment in your spouse for allowing another in Springfield to come between the two of you is understandable. Those raw feelings may be matched only by the anger that you feel towards the person with whom he or she had (or has) a relationship. This anger might even prompt you to question whether or not there might be legal recourse that allow you to hold that person responsible for contributing to the end of your marriage

A legal principle does indeed exist known as "alienation of affection." Such a claim allows people to seek damages from third parties over the loss of affection they enjoyed through their marriages. Typically, those third parties are their spouses' lovers, yet action under this principle can also be brought against in-laws, friends or even relationship therapists. 

Should I cash out my IRA during a divorce?

46008930_S.jpgMissouri spouses considering divorce know it is certainly not an easy decision to make, or an easy process to get through. Another significant hurdle in the process of dividing your lives into separate pieces is the division of assets. Divorce is a financial decision as well as an emotional one, and it reaches beyond choosing which spouse winds up with the house and car.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, advises divorcing spouses to consider all your options before cashing out retirement accounts. It may seem simpler and easier to liquidate everything, but retirement assets are critical to maintaining as a supplement to Social Security, which may not provide sufficient funds for retirement.

Signs a divorce may be the answer

46129094_S.jpgDespite many efforts, there is often no simple way of going about a divorce. There are a number of aspects to consider, such as alimony, property settlement and child custody planning, if children are involved. However, some Missouri spouses have trouble acknowledging that a divorce should happen in the first place.

While it is not always the right solution for everyone, a divorce is often the best path. This choice can even open doors to a much happier life chapter for some individuals. What are some of the warning signs that divorce may be the answer?

Untangling a child custody battle

96039547_S.jpgThe divorce paperwork is well under way, the search for a new living space has begun and family and friends have reached out in support. What could be next? For Missouri parents going through divorce, children can become the most crucial focus. Even when both parents have been on good terms throughout the divorce, situations involving children can quickly escalate. The following information delves into the basics of child custody disputes.

Verywell Family appears to understand all too well how easily a child custody dispute can erupt. Some parents mistakenly assume that judges will sympathize with their points of view; however, Verywell reminds its audience that courts generally prioritize the best interests of the child. And while avoiding a child custody battle is always the first choice, sometimes parents cannot reach an agreement. In these cases, it is important to prepare for a child custody hearing. Courts consider many factors during this process, including (but not limited to) the following: 

  • The better parent standard
  • Proper court etiquette
  • Communication between the parents

Enforcing child support, the right way

37314715_S (1).jpgMany Missouri residents might assume that the hardest part of divorce is over upon completion of paperwork. While this is true in some cases, spouses with children could have bigger challenges ahead. One of those challenges involves child support. Whether it is inconsistent or nonexistent, the law enforces child custody orders to best protect the children involved.

Even long-time residents could benefit from a refresher on state laws. The Missouri Department of Social Services lists information on enforcing child support, stating that medical support is also crucial. The Department may locate parents, as well as review and modify support orders. When it comes to the enforcing of financial support, the social services branch has the power to report noncustodial parents to credit bureaus; in addition, they could withhold the parent's wages. Should the noncompliant parent live outside the state of Missouri, the Department may work with the state of residence to collect support.

How expensive is divorce in Missouri?

81079712_S.jpgThere hardly exists a more stressful life chapter than that of divorce. After all, it has a way of turning one's life upside down. With all of the steps involved in separating from a spouse, some Missouri residents may wonder about the costs of divorce. What factors come into play in regard to fees, and what financial hurdles can one expect to face in the months following a separation?

Last November, The Kansas City Star focused on the topic of divorce in the country. While attitudes toward marriage in America continue to shift away from traditional, lifelong committment, conservatives in the nation have attempted to reverse divorce trends. As a result, the subject of taxes has arrived under the public spotlight. Lawmakers have recently considered the ways that modifications to tax treatment of alimony payments could change America's outlook on divorce. Potential changes include no generation of taxable income nor deductions from alimony. At current, alimony payments fall under the category of taxable income. What, many might wonder, does this mean for divorces in the future? The Star shows that such changes could make divorces more expensive, but could also make them less common. 

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