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

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.

There are remedies for parenting time interference

48506875_S.jpgSome Missouri couples who have children find their relationship improves once their divorce is finalized, and they are settled in their respective new homes. For others, the same conflicts that prevented the continuation of the marriage make post-divorce contact problematic. However, where those problems rise to the level of causing one parent to interfere with the other parent's time with the children, it may be necessary to return to the family law court to address the issue.

Matters of child custody and child support are in many cases agreed upon by the couple informally and generally accepted by the court. When that agreement becomes part of the final order, family law legal experts caution that violating the terms of the agreement is a violation of a court order. Even where one parent feels justified in acting, such as a mother withholding child visitation for lack of support payments, unilateral action in contravention of the parenting agreement is not permitted. Fathers' rights can be enforced.

Helping children adjust to life after a divorce

45835225_S.jpgRecently divorced parents in Missouri can take steps to make the transition into a two-home life easier on their kids. First, parents should make it easy for children to keep up with the schedule. For younger kids, a large calendar posted in a common area can help. Older children may want to keep track with their Google calendars or other apps.

Parents can facilitate a smoother transition by making sure the kids don't have to pack every time they go back and forth between their homes. Having to repeatedly pack and unpack can be especially stressful for children who are still getting used to the two-home lifestyle. Children will feel more at home if they have the belongings they want and need in both places. Toiletries and duplicates of other items should be in both homes if possible.

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Other Office Locations

  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806: Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 25 Professional Park, Suite B, Maryville, Illinois 62062: Maryville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Shawnee County: 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612: Topeka Office
  • Tulsa County: 6660 S. Sheridan Road, Suite 240, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133: Tulsa Office
  • Oklahoma County: 2601 NW Expressway, Suite 411 W, Oklahoma City, OK 73112: Oklahoma City Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

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