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

Why some couples might choose a prenup

Couples in Missouri may hesitate to create a prenuptial agreement because they are worried about how their families will react or even that the agreement could increase the chance they will get a divorce. They might also worry about revealing their own financial problems such as bankruptcy. However, a prenup can build communication between a couple along with important protections if they do divorce.

If one person is likely to accumulate debt, a prenup can establish that the other spouse will not be responsible for that debt in the case of divorce. A prenup can also be helpful if one person is bringing significant assets into the marriage and wants to protect those assets. If spouse owns a business, the prenup may ensure that the other spouse does not have a claim on it in a divorce. Increasingly, people are even using prenups to state who will get pets.

Divorce correlated with marrying on special days

When people in Missouri are planning to get married, some think that they should choose a special date for their weddings. Recent research indicates that doing so is correlated with a higher likelihood of getting divorced, however.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, couples who choose specific dates such as Valentine's Day are likelier to divorce. The researchers analyzed data from 1 million couples who married. Of the couples who married on Valentine's Day, 11 percent had gotten divorced within five years and 21 percent had divorced within nine years.

Establishing child support

38961503_S (1).jpgPaying or receiving child support is a matter that many parents in Missouri have to address. The payment is a duty that typically falls upon the noncustodial parent, and the goal is to maintain a financial level of support that comes close to what the child had before the separation.

Before a child support arrangement can be established, it is first necessary to establish a relationship between the kid and parent. The act of giving birth typically establishes a woman as the mother of the child. For paternity, however, there are multiple ways to establish a biological relationship. If the husband and wife are married when the child is born, there is a presumption that the man is the father. For a father who is not married when their child is born, it will be necessary to complete a form that acknowledges the paternity. This form can be completed in the hospital after the birth or at a local Vital Statistics Registrar or Child Support Enforcement Agency.

The challenges of co-parenting for divorced fathers

29425433_S.jpgFamily law judges in Missouri and around the country consider the best interests of the child when making custody and visitation decisions, and that often results in co-parenting arrangements where mothers are the primary caregivers. This can be difficult for fathers who are used to seeing their children every day to accept, but the transition can be made easier, and the emotional damages suffered by the children involved minimized, if both parents work together.

Effective communication is crucial if co-parenting arrangements are to be successful. Arguing in front of children or communicating through children can be traumatic for all involved and are clear signs that divorced parents still harbor animosity toward one another. When conflict is an ongoing problem, divorced fathers may be wise to document all of their interactions with their children and former spouses in preparation for possible future legal actions.

Divorce preparation steps to take

38515504_S.jpgPeople in Missouri who are getting a divorce may want to take steps to prepare for the divorce itself and for life after the divorce. A divorce has essentially three phases. First, there is the process of filling out paperwork and filing. Next, there is the discovery phase in which both spouses reveal their finances. Finally, there is a settlement.

Couples should think carefully about whether divorce is the right choice in the first place. It is a difficult and expensive endeavor. Next, they should research to get a good understanding of state law. They should also think about their own financial and other goals. Getting organized is important and includes getting together all financial paperwork and creating a budget for after the divorce. This budget will help with decisions such as whether it is feasible to remain in the family home. People should close joint accounts, get a copy of their credit report and seek out legal and financial professionals who can help. They should also remember to practice self-care.

Parenting after divorce requires focus on the children

23940584_S.jpgParenting after a divorce can become quite complicated. Many ex-spouses in Missouri struggle to make the situation work. By maintaining focus on the children and being committed to making co-parenting work, success is possible.

Parenting plans are set during the divorce, either agreed to and negotiated by the parents or set by the court. The goal is to smooth the transition and keep both parents actively involved in their children's lives. However, both parents should be willing to work together and be flexible when it comes to following the parenting plan. This means that depending on the children's needs, one parent might invite the other to events even when it's not their allotted time. In the same way, parents should be able to negotiate the pickups to avoid additional confrontations that might have an emotional impact on the children.

Dealing with changes to tax law during divorce

40805158_S.jpgPeople in Missouri considering divorce may wish to expedite their plans in order to finalize before the end of the year. This is because there are some changes to federal tax laws that will go into effect at the beginning of 2019. Some of those changes could have a serious impact on the future finances of people who end their marriages. For people who want to ensure they are governed current tax laws during their split, finalizing during 2018 may be a priority.

One of the most well-known changes to the the tax law that affects divorcing spouses involves a difference in the way that alimony is treated. Currently, the former spouse who pays alimony can deduct the sum of money he or she pays. For wealthy couples with a high-asset divorce, the difference can be substantial, as this deduction can amount to up to 50 percent of a total tax bill. On the other hand, the recipient pays taxes on the income in his or her lower tax bracket. The recipient can also invest the money in an IRA to save for retirement.

Modifying child custody and visitation arrangements

84156249_S.jpgFamily 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.

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