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Missouri, Illinois and Kansas Fathers' Rights & Divorce Law Blog

Modifying child custody and visitation arrangements

Family law judges in Missouri and around the country make child custody and visitation rulings based on what they consider to be in the best interests of the children involved. However, their decisions may be revisited when situations change. The courts generally act quickly when children have been placed in situations that have become dangerous due to substance abuse problems or episodes of domestic violence in the household. Child custody arrangements may also be modified when parents die, move to another part of the country or routinely ignore visitation schedules.

When a custodial parent passes away, custody will usually be awarded to the noncustodial parent. However, custody may be awarded to a third party if the surviving parent lives far away or has a grueling work schedule. Family law judges could also award custody to a third party in these situations at the request of the children involved. Custodial parents who relocate are often able to retain custody, but judges may scrutinize their motivation for moving and the impact that the move will have on visitation schedules before making these decisions.

Deciding whether to get a prenuptial agreement

43131363_S.jpgSome couples in Missouri might think that they don't need a prenuptial agreement if they're not wealthy. However, there are a number of reasons why a spouse with a lower income may want to create a prenup.

For example, a spouse may want a prenup if they have children from a previous relationship. A prenup can outline what property should go to one's children in case of death. Another reason to have a prenup is if either spouse is bringing a significant amount of debt into the relationship. A prenup can prevent the other person from being responsible for this debt in case of divorce.

Avoiding mistakes when dividing IRAs in divorces

35462374_S.jpgWhen Missouri couples have IRAs and decide to divorce, it is important for them to make certain that they divide their retirement accounts correctly. If people make mistakes, they may face substantial tax liabilities from the Internal Revenue Service.

When one spouse will need to give the other spouse funds from his or her IRA, it can only be done in one of two ways. The account holder can change the name on the account to the recipient's name if all of the IRA will be transferred. The other way to give funds from the IRA to the other spouse is to transfer them directly from the IRA into an IRA that is in the spouse's name.

Joint legal custody for parents

83441125_S.jpgGiven that the rate of divorce rate in Missouri is above the national average, Missourians are likely aware of the anguish that comes with having to endure custody battles. On the one hand, children often find it emotionally trying to see their parents fight while feeling uncertain about what the future holds for them. On the other hand, not only may parents be terrified that they could end up missing out on a big part of their children's lives, but they might also be confounded by the amount of legal jargon thrown around.

One of the most important terms to be aware of is joint legal custody, which is different than joint physical custody. Simply put, joint legal custody allows both parents to make pivotal decisions on behalf of the children, such as where the kids will learn, what religion they will be raised into and what medical solutions they will be offered in case of an emergency.

Reality TV star files for divorce from former football player

12016760_S (1).jpgViewers in Missouri of "Kendra on Top" may recognize Kendra Wilkinson, who got her start in entertainment as a Playboy model. At the age of 32, she has filed for divorce from Hank Baskett, a former professional football player. They exchanged vows in 2009 and have two children, an 8-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl. With a separation date on her legal filings of Jan. 1, her divorce paperwork requested joint legal and physical custody of the children. She gave irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split.

Wilkinson announced publicly that she still loved Baskett, but her efforts could not save the marriage. She said that she would focus on being a strong parent for her children.

How to make financial preparations for a divorce

50280277_S.jpgGetting important financial documents together can be an important first step for spouses in Missouri who are planning to get a divorce. They may want to keep these copies somewhere safe such as in a safety deposit box or with trusted friends.

Obtaining credit reports before the divorce is underway gives a soon-to-be ex the opportunity to resolve any errors. A person might also be able to see if the other spouse is abusing a joint account. Establishing personal accounts and credit in one's own name might also be a good idea. A spouse who does not have their own income stream may face additional hurdles in getting a credit card. However, the 2009 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act allows people to apply for credit using household income.

Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement announces changes

67084405_S (1).jpgAccording to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, in fiscal year 2016, 75 percent of the $33 billion collected was through income withholding. For Missouri employers whose employees have been ordered to pay child support, there may be some changes ahead.

One concern is that when it comes to verifying employment, some employers are sending these requests on to third-party processors. These processors in turn charge a fee to child support agencies. While the OCSE has been working with all parties in search of a solution, it is anticipated that employers will be reminded that these requests are their responsibility and that the child support agencies will not pay.

Making smart financial plans in case of divorce

When couples in Missouri decide to get married, they may want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement. This document can specify which property belongs to each individual as opposed to being shared among the both of them and what will happen to shared property if the couple gets a divorce. Another precaution a person should take is difficult-to-appraise property, such as a business, valued before he or she gets married.

A couple that is already married can create a postnuptial agreement. This is similar to a prenup but is prepared after the marriage. Couples can do other things to protect their financial interests as well. For example, even if they have a joint account, each person may want to open an individual account as well.

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