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Springfield Divorce & Family Law Blog

Understanding the importance of valuation dates

Upon choosing to get a divorce, there are many things that one Springfield has to consider. The date on which their marital assets are to be valued likely is not one point that immediately stands out. Yet the valuation date of marital assets can often become a point of contention. A great deal of emotion goes into a divorce case, which can often prompt those involved to take measures to negatively impact how their soon-to-be ex-spouses come out of the proceedings. Purposely devaluing property may be one of them. 

Typically, one of the more significant assets a couple will jointly own is their home. Say that a couple separates and one moves out of the home. The other (knowing that the home may be sold during the divorce proceedings and the proceeds be split equally) may choose to let the home fall into disrepair in order to impact the profit that may be made from it. Of course, this would also lessen the amount that they would get from the sale, yet some may actually be willing to do this as a way of getting back at their ex-spouses. 

Filing for divorce due to incompatibility

78818017_S.jpgPeople end their marriages because of affairs, financial issues and many other reasons. Sometimes, a couple finds out that they are incompatible, whether they have been married for a very brief period of time or they have been married for decades. Some couples are able to work through their differences by successfully pursuing therapy and counseling, while others are able to address their incompatibility through mutual understanding and time. However, others are never able to happily continue their marriage and simply do not get along with each other.

If you and your marital partner have been fighting a lot, or you are no longer interested in being married to this person, it is important to explore various options. If you have already tried counseling with no success, you may believe that the only option at this point is to file a divorce petition. You should not hesitate to move ahead with a divorce if you know that it is best for you and your kids (if you are a parent). Moreover, some people may feel that they are stuck in an incompatible marriage because their partner refuses to cooperate or consider the idea of divorce.

What to do when a parent does not want to be involved?

35065566_S.jpgIf you have gotten a divorce in Missouri or otherwise are no longer together with your child's other parent, you may run into times when that parent does not want to be involved in your child's life. This might include not wanting to have visitation, not engaging with the child on any level or foregoing responsibilities and leaving parenting completely up to you. This is a difficult situation for you and your child. How you handle it has a huge impact and could define the parent-child relationship between you and your child and the other parent and your child. However, there are some things you can try to do to remedy the situation and make it easier.

The main thing to do, according to Very Well Family, is to communicate about visitation issues. This means talking to the other parent. Find out why he or she is not involved. Be open and try to not be combative. If you are accusing and negative, the other parent may not want to talk to you. You need to get information so you can see if you can fix whatever is wrong. For example, sometimes a parent may have scheduling issues. Perhaps the other parent has had a change in hours at work and just cannot get your child at the designated times.

Examining Missouri's child support termination guidelines

28076903_S.jpgChild support serves as an enormous benefit to those who retain custody of their children following a divorce in Springfield, helping to soften the financial blow left from no longer being able to rely on the income of their former spouses. Indeed, the fact that (according to information shared by the U.S. Census Bureau) $33.7 billion was paid out in child support in 2015 alone reinforces how great a need it is. Those obliged to pay it likely little quarrel with doing so (they too want to ensure that their kids have all they need). However, the fear that those receiving this benefit may try to abuse it is also ever-present. 

Because of this, the guidelines regarding to the termination of a child support agreement have been made very clear. According to Section 452.340 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, a child support obligation automatically terminates in any of the following scenarios: 

  • The supported child dies
  • The supported child marries
  • The supported child enters into military active duty
  • The supported child is otherwise able to become self-supporting 

Understanding how the length of your marriage affects divorce

33720475_S.jpgWhile divorce can be a complicated process for many people, it can be exponentially more difficult and time consuming if you and your spouse have been married for a long time. Often, the longer your marriage lasts, the more there is to untangle in terms of finances, shared assets and belongings that may hold sentimental value to both of you. At Stange Law Firm, PC, we have helped many divorcing couples in Missouri to work through the legal process of divorce as quickly as possible. 

If you and your spouse have been married for a significant length of time, you will undoubtedly face a much different and more extensive list of issues to work through than a couple that has only been married for five years or less. According to U.S. News, if your marriage has been long, some of the factors that will require time, resources and negotiation to work through include the following:

  • Alimony
  • Child custody
  • Dating
  • Retirement accounts
  • Shared assets
  • Shared real estate

Estate considerations following divorce

27683591_S.jpgOften in the immediate aftermath of a divorce, people in Springfield will scamper to try and locate any financial accounts or holdings they might have shared with their ex-spouses in order to update them to reflect their new circumstances. The motivation behind this is likely the fear that if they do not (and something were to happen to them), then any properties once shared would go back to their ex-spouses (and thus not benefit their children or new spouses). Those who are among the 40 percent of people the American Association of Retired Persons reports as having already begun their estate planning might think to include their wills amongst those items that need to be updated. 

While revising one's will after his or her divorce may be a good strategy, it is technically unnecessary (if one's sole concern is to keep his or her ex-spouse from inheriting his or her money). That is because (according to Section 474.420 of Missouri's Revised Statutes), any provisions made in one's will related to his or her spouse are automatically revoked once his or her divorce becomes finalized. From a legal perspective, it would be as though the ex-spouse preceded the decedent in death. 

When is separation the right answer?

29765997_S (2).jpgFor Springfield-area couples who are struggling with their marriage but not ready to throw in the towel, a legal separation may be the right decision. Along with giving each spouse time and space to think about all the ramifications of divorce, a separation has financial benefits too.

A legal separation is different than what some may consider a "trial" separation, which may be just having one partner move to a different home for a few months, according to Forbes. A legal separation is a binding agreement that covers spousal and child support, visitation and division of debt and assets. Not having an agreement in place means you are still liable for any legal issues or debts that your partner has.

Examining your ex-spouse's claim to your business assets

70654685_S.jpgDivorce in Springfield can be a messy affair, particularly if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have considerable assets to divide amongst each other. If your business is included in those assets, then like many of those that we here at the Stange Law Firm have previously worked with, you might be worried about how much interest your ex-spouse may profit from it once your divorce becomes final. Answering this concern first requires an explanation of how Missouri handles property division proceedings. 

The state follows the philosophy of equitable division, meaning that the parties to a divorce may not necessarily receive an equal share of marital assets, but rather what the court determines will be fair. Marital assets are assets are considered to be those accrued while you and your ex-spouse were together. Thus your ownership stake in your business might not be affected by your divorce if your started the company before you were married. What may be is whatever increase in value your company experienced during your marriage. 

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

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