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Springfield Divorce & Family Law Blog

What to expect when making child custody plans

47872874_S.jpgJumping through the hoops of a divorce is hardly an uncommon occurrence in Missouri, but nevertheless can be a potentially challenging task. Those with children may first question what, exactly, the new living arrangements might be. When the situation is not black and white, turning to available resources can help make for a smoother process.

Oftentimes, parents argue that it is best for a child to live only under one roof. In these instances, and in the gray areas in between, the Missouri Courts website can help clarify the state guidelines for child custody. If filing a petition for child custody is the chosen route, parents must understand that such a petition applies when paternity is established under Missouri law but lacks a custody order. First, parents must gather necessary documents, including the child's birth certificate, a completed "Declaration of Paternity" form (of which the Missouri Bureau of Vital Records must receive) and other required paperwork. Courts may also require parents to supply recent financial information. After these steps, a court clerk may issue a "summons," which a court official will then deliver to the other parent. The process that follows depends on the other parent's response to the summons, and may result in a hearing.

Dividing student loans in a divorce

21449053_S.jpgOnce you and your spouse have made the tough decision to end your marriage, you will likely face many more challenging decisions. If you are like many other couples in Missouri, how to split your assets and your debts will be some of the most difficult decisions you will need to wrestle with. While many people assume that if a debt is in one spouse's name only that person will assume all responsibility for it after a divorce, that may not necessarily be the case.

As explained by The Daily Worth, the timing of when student loans are incurred may indeed be part of how it is decided who should repay them after a divorce. However, there are other factors to be considered as well. Among these factors is what the money from the student loans were used for. For example, if rent or a mortgage was paid for with the money, it may be more likely to be deemed a joint debt.

How to co-parent with a former spouse

30682842_S.jpgGetting a divorce with minor children still living at home can add a layer of complexity to life for parents. For starters, moms and dads already trying to grapple with their own emotions and losses during this time must also find ways to help their children navigate their feelings as their lives change dramatically. In addition to this, parents must find ways to work together to raise their children while living separately. Given that communication and cooperation may well have struggled when a couple was married, this is no easy task.

Parents magazine recommends that one things moms and dads should do is to be willing to think outside the box especially when it comes to finding quality time to spend with their children. For example, instead of thinking that the only time a parent can be with their kids is on the days designated in the divorce agreement, they could consider always being the one to take kids to school even if that means picking them up from the other parent's home.

How does a QDRO work?

47609348_S.jpgIf you are one of the many people in Missouri eyeing a divorce this year, you will want to start learning how you may protect your assets. Certainly you know that splitting some assets with your current spouse is likely to be part of your ultimate divorce settlement. However, it is reasonable for you to seek ways to minimize some of your losses. If you expect that you may need to split a 401K or other employer-sponsored retirement account, you will want to know about the qualified domestic relations order.

As explained by the United States Department of Labor, a QDRO may provide you with important protections when splitting a retirement fund as part of your property division settlement. Without a QDRO, you may need to withdraw money from your account and then give it to your spouse. If you do this, you may end up paying early withdrawal fees as the distribution would not meet retirement criteria. These fees may be quite high and eat up a large portion of what assets remain in your account. On top of the penalties, you may owe income tax on the amount you withdraw.

When a family law issue does not go your way

61047335_S.jpgThere are a wide variety of family law matters that people struggle through, whether they are centered around the custody of a child, the distribution of a couple's marital property, or a child support order. With careful planning and the right approach, some people are able to find favorable outcomes that benefit them for years to come. On the other hand, some people do not secure the end result that they were looking for, which can be especially hard with family law matters.

Unlike other areas of law, which may not have such an emotional impact, family law cases can be very emotionally charged. There is far more at stake than one's finances or property. Often, family law rulings affect children and their ability to spend time with a parent. As a result, it is understandable that people who do not find the outcome they wanted may feel sad, angry, or stressed out. If you are in this position, however, you could benefit from maintaining your emotions as much as possible.

How can I deal with holidays after my divorce?

33764237_S.jpgIf you have gotten divorced or separated in this year, the 2017 holiday season will be your first as a single person in a while. You certainly may feel like nobody around you really understand this but the fact is that many other residents in Missouri and around the country have walked in your shoes before. There are some tried and true things you can do to help yourself find joy this holiday season and to help your children positively navigate what will be a different experience for them as well.

One piece of advice recommeded by PopSugar.com is to make sure you get yourself involved with the people and events around you that celebrate the various holidays instead of giving in to the temptation to hole up and avoid cheerful and warm situations because you fear it might make you miss your prior life too much. You will want to remember that your children can feed off of your emotional guidance and watching you be able to do this may help them do the same.

Divorce and high blood pressure

32496650_S.jpgWhen it comes to ending a marriage, there are many challenges that people are often aware they may have to face, such as a dispute over child custody or issues with child support. Divorce can be financially and emotionally difficult, but it may also affect people from a physical standpoint. We are aware that some people who end their marriage develop high blood pressure and high stress levels. As a result, our law firm knows how important it is to take steps to reduce stress, simplify divorce, and address any related problems such as high blood pressure.

If your marriage recently came to an end or you will soon be separated from your spouse, all sorts of hurdles can cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious. For example, you may have a hard time with the way in which marital property was divided, be stressed out over your ability to spend time with your kids, or have concerns about spousal support and child support payments, among many other issues.

Refusal to pay child support in Missouri

26628276_S.jpgWhen divorce is the only answer, children are commonly the focal point of concern. That concern, however, varies depending on the parents involved; shockingly enough, countless children go without child support in the state of Missouri.

When an ex-spouse refuses to meet the agreed payment plan to support a child, that owed money can accumulate quickly. This lack of payment hurts not only struggling (and often single) parents, but ultimately children who end up going without some necessities. What can Missouri parents do in such trying situations?

Intimate partner violence and divorce

41848905_S.jpgWith family law matters, all sorts of hurdles can arise. However, there are some unique situations that can make it even more difficult for people to work through the process of ending their marriage or handling other family law issues, from custody disagreements to child support. For example, some people are accused of or subjected to intimate partner violence, which can complicate things considerably. Our firm recognizes how essential it is for people in this position to be careful as they make their way through divorce or handle other family law issues.

If you have been accused of abusing someone in your family, the allegations could have a major impact on the outcome of your family law case, even if you are innocent. At the same time, you or one of your children may have been a victim of family violence, in which case it is vital to carefully work through your situation. First of all, you should do what you can to protect yourself or anyone in your family who has been subjected to abuse. Not only should you focus on preventing abuse in the present, but you should also do what you can to ensure that domestic violence never effects your loved ones again.

Divorce in the digital age

18892160_S.jpgThere are all sorts of issues that can factor into court decisions when it comes to divorce-related matters, such as custody and how to distribute marital property. From a spouse's income to accusations of domestic violence, you may have to consider many different angles when it comes to the end of your marriage. However, social media can also play a role in divorce, in some cases. Our law firm is very familiar with the multitude of pressures that you may be facing if you are going through the process of ending your marriage, including those related to social media, which some people do not realize can have an impact on the outcome of your case.

When working through a divorce, it is vital to be mindful of the things you share online. In fact, posting something that is very harmful could have negative consequences. If your spouse has falsely accused you of a serious offense or has shared information that you believes poses a threat, you may want to consider bringing this up in court. There are other challenges related to technology that can come into play with regard to divorce. For example, your spouse's infidelity through an online account could even be the reason why you determined that divorce was necessary.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
901 E. St. Louis
Suite 404
Springfield, Missouri 65806

Phone: 417-799-7887
Fax: 417-799-3344
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