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Springfield Divorce & Family Law Blog

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. 

What happens when a parent fails to pay child support?

42714165_S.jpgGoing through a divorce can present a number of challenges in regard to a person's daily schedule, financial planning and overall well being. When children are part of the picture, this planning can take even more time and commitment. Missouri, like other states, enforces child support and custody laws in a way that serves in the best interest of children, but some families nevertheless hit obstacles along the way.

Countless parents in the state struggle to make ends meet as a result of single parenthood. One topic of recent debate, as The Kansas City Star shares, involves potential changes with food stamp laws; Missouri lawmakers are considering modifying the state's welfare plans. Should the state execute these plans, people on welfare would face tighter restrictions. The Star comments that members of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could lose benefits if they miss child support payments. While penalties for failing to pay child support are important, this new law could potentially hurt the most important members of the SNAP program: the children. In the last few years alone, over 20,000 children have lost access to welfare programs in the state. 

The nation's current outlook on grandparents and child custody

3726358_S.jpgFor many Missouri parents going through divorce, child custody is a quick and minimal process; for others, however, taking care of children can become an overwhelming responsibility The opioid crisis that has swept across the nation has not only affected millions of adults, but also the children they struggle to raise. Sometimes, child custody arrangments can become a priority before a divorce is even considered. 

As a result of this crippling epidemic, grandparents have stepped up to the plate. Grandparents gaining full custody of their grandchildren has become a new normal in America, as parents continue to battle with addiction. Below are some recent facts on the children who have become the central focus of this crisis, and the grandparents who have become their heroes.

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.

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Stange Law Firm, PC
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