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

Politician seeking divorce after 30 years of marriage

131542622_S.jpgSarah Palin and her estranged husband have both filed divorce claims against each other after 30 years of marriage. The 55-year-old and her husband do not seem to completely agree with the reasons for the divorce. With divorce rates for older couples still climbing, Missouri residents 55 and older might be interested in the outcome of Palin's divorce.

The couple share five children, but only one is a minor. Palin's husband is asking for joint custody of the 11-year-old. In his divorce filing, the husband claimed that the couple was unable to continue living together due to their different temperaments. Palin also filed a countersuit against her husband, indicating that there were differences of opinions about the divorce.

Custody determinations focus on the child's best interests

30965920_S.jpgAmong all the issues to be decided in a Missouri marital dissolution, child custody determinations are perhaps the most emotionally charged. While no one would disagree that the child's best interest should be the highest priority, reasonable people can reach different conclusions over the optimal way to reach that standard. If the divorcing couple can agree on a plan that works for them, the court will usually approve it. If no agreement can be reached, however, the court then has the duty to establish a custody determination.

Initially, it is important to distinguish between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the making of important life decisions, such as educational, religious and medical determinations. Physical custody means which parent has care of the child, in a home setting or otherwise. Because Missouri law has a specific statute that indicates a child's best interest is served by having a close relationship with both parents, a family court judge will begin with the assumption that it is best for both parents to share equally in legal and physical custody.

Misunderstandings about divorce

101826389_S.jpgWhen spouses living in Missouri decide to divorce, they may not totally understand the legal, social and financial ramifications. While ending a marriage is never an easy decision, it's also important for individuals who are struggling in their relationships to know what they can expect from the divorce process.

Many spouses opt to end a marriage because they are constantly in conflict with their partner. While it's true that divorce splits partners up, the couple will have to interact in the future if there are kids involved. Individuals who are unable to get along while married may also find that they remain in conflict even after the divorce is final.

Seniors face unique challenges during divorce

69049529_S.jpgIn Missouri and across the country, more people than ever are divorcing after age 50. This poses some unique challenges that aren't faced by younger divorcing couples. Anyone 50 and over who is considering a separation should become familiar with those challenges first.

One of the biggest issues people face is financial. Divorce can wreak havoc on an individual's finances, and those age 50 and over are at an especially high risk. That's because people in this age bracket do not have enough time to make up any losses they might take to their retirement or 401(k) accounts. People in this age bracket are very likely to have children in college, which can further strain their finances. Accordingly, a divorce can also have a major impact even on a couple's adult children.

Fathers have rights to their children as well

78015200_S.jpgAfter a divorce, both mothers and fathers in Missouri could be entitled to legal or physical custody rights to their children. Legal custody refers to a parent's ability to make decisions about how the child will be raised. These decisions could include the type of medical treatment a son or daughter might get or where they will go to school. If a parent has physical custody of a minor, the child stays with that parent.

It is possible for parents to split physical or legal custody of a child. When making a custody decision, a court will weight any factors that might be relevant in a given case. For instance, the age and gender of a child may play a role in determining if a parent gets custody. If the child is old enough, he or she could be allowed to express a preference for one parent over the other.

Bizarre and unusual reasons for divorce

41099810_S.jpgWhile many couples in Missouri divorce over disagreements about money or children, some have more unusual reasons for separating. Some divorce lawyers are turning to an online forum to report the most unusual or petty reasons they've seen for seeking a separation.

For example, one man complained that he hated the sound his wife made when she was chewing at the dinner table. Another man claimed his wife had attempted to place a curse on him. A woman said she had decided to divorce her husband because the dog he gave her soiled the carpet. Yet another woman filed for divorce two months after marriage because she was unhappy with the gift she was given for her birthday, an iPad case instead of jewelry.

Divorce between Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos finalized

13216200_S.jpgSome Missouri residents may be aware that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos, an author, were going through a divorce. On July 5, three months after the couple announced on Twitter that they had reached a settlement, a judge finalized the dissolution.

In April, MacKenzie Bezos said on Twitter that Jeff Bezos would keep 75% of their shared stock and would keep voting control of her shares even after the property division. MacKenzie Bezos will keep a 4% stake with a worth of over $38 billion. This makes her the third richest woman in the world while Jeff Bezos remains the world's richest man. They have also created a parenting plan for their children.

Complex divorces and interpreting student loan debts

52631359_S.jpgIn Missouri and across the United States, divorce is an emotional experience that leaves many spouses feeling lost and confused. From asset protection to child custody issues, divorce can seem overwhelming emotionally and physically. Couples with student loans need to address the issue concerning which spouse bears the legal responsibility for resolving the student loan debt.

A couple may not realize that a student loan debt existing before their marriage does not belong to both spouses. In this case, a judge typically decides that the spouse with the student loan debt is responsible for owing the money. However, complicated legal regulations mean that these general rules are subject to change. For instance, a spouse who owes $200,000 prior to their marriage is usually responsible for paying back the student loan debt. However, debt incurred during a marriage is often considered marital debt. In the case of a marital debt, each spouse must pay off the loan.

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