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

Actress Niecy Nash files for divorce

47215395_s (1).jpgMany people in Missouri know actress Niecy Nash from her role as Desna Simms on the television series "Claws." On Dec. 12, the 49-year-old actress reportedly filed for divorce from her husband of eight years. The official paperwork was filed two months after Nash announced that she was separating from her husband.

In October, Nash and her husband jointly released a statement on social media saying that they were going to end their marriage amicably. The statement expressed gratitude for the marriage while it lasted and for the shared love that they still have for each other. The couple said that they felt they would be better as friends than spouses at this point in their lives.

Divorce ahead for founder of Papa John's

89322084_s.jpgSome people in Missouri who enjoy pizza from Papa John's may be aware that the company founder, John Schnatter, stepped down in 2017. This followed a claim that he had uttered a racist statement during a conference call. On Dec. 5, his wife filed for divorce, listing him as "not employed".

The couple have been married since 1987, and they separated in April. In the divorce papers, Schnatter's wife described the marriage as "irretrievably broken". The papers, which were filed in Kentucky, also say that there are shared real estate holdings. They have two children.

Adjusting to co-parenting after divorce

91231369_s.jpgWhen people in Missouri decide to divorce, it can be challenging to shift to a co-parenting relationship. Many divorcing spouses have serious interpersonal conflicts, but extensive time with both parents is seen as best for child development, absent a situation of neglect or abuse. Shared custody is more common than ever as many fathers actively pursue time with their children and an important role in their kids' daily lives. Research shows that children have higher self-esteem and better mental health as adults if they had equal time with both of their parents after a divorce.

Developing a parenting plan is an important part of resolving child custody issues. When parents share legal and physical custody, they will need to communicate with each other on a regular basis, even if they had an acrimonious time toward the end of the marriage. Both parents may need to develop strategies to help keep the parenting schedule in place, and communication is key. Flexibility when necessary can help to preserve a positive environment for the children, and it is good for the kids to see both parents working together to support them even if they cannot get along with each other in different contexts.

Divorced parents can connect across the miles

11946785_S.jpgSome divorcing parents in Missouri may find themselves in a long-distance co-parenting relationship. The demands of family illness, employment and other issues may mean that one parent has good reason to move far away from the other. Still, it is critical not to allow physical distance to interfere with a close parent-child relationship. There are several steps that long-distance parents can take to keep their relationships with their children warm, healthy and loving.

Kids might worry that they are being rejected by a parent after the divorce if the parent moves out and goes far away. It is more common for fathers to live at a distance from their children, but all parents will benefit from paying close attention to how they can foster closeness despite the geographical separation. Online communication, social media and video chats are great for parents and children living at a distance with one another. Regular calls, check-ins and texts help to keep up the day-to-day communication that deepens the parent-child bond even across great distances.

Financial tips for investments in a divorce

48004716_S.jpgAfter a divorce, Missouri residents may want to change beneficiary designations on their accounts. It can be easy to forget to make this change, and the result can be an ex-spouse inheriting a person's assets instead of whoever the person intended to have them.

There are a number of other steps people should also take to protect their finances in a divorce. In some families, one person is largely in charge of the financial side of things. If this is the case, the other person needs to find out what assets they own and obtain any other relevant financial information. People should also be aware that decisions they make about selling or splitting assets during a divorce can have additional complications. For example, securities can be sold, but there will be a capital gains tax on them. There could be penalties for leaving annuities early.

Wendy Williams negotiating divorce after 21 years of marriage

29591519_S.jpgWendy Williams, the host of a daytime television talk show, has her own drama going on behind the scenes that may interest her viewers in Missouri. Her marriage of 21 years has unraveled amid allegations of her husband's infidelity. Although their divorce has yet to be completed, Williams will reportedly pay her estranged husband $250,000 as part of an interim financial agreement as they continue to negotiate the terms of their divorce. The money is meant to pay for his new housing.

In their initial divorce filings, Williams petitioned for an equal division of marital property and the establishment of a fund to support their 19-year-old son. Her husband countered with a petition for spousal support and legal expenses. The couple briefly listed their East Coast mansion for sale, but overwhelming public attention prompted the divorcing couple to withdraw the property from the market.

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.

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  • 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
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