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

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.

Studies look at effects of women's higher earnings on marriage

41460820_S.jpgWomen in Missouri may be more likely to make more money than their husbands did in previous generations, but this does not make their marriages more stable. Marriages in which wives earn more than their husbands could be more likely to end in divorce.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 38% of wives are bigger earners than their husbands. However, attitudes toward husbands who are not the main breadwinners in the family have not kept up with these changes. A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 25% of people thought it was extremely important for mothers to earn money for their children compared to 40% who believed this about fathers. Pew Research also reported that while women earned at least half the income for just 13% of couples living together in 1981, that percentage rose to one-third by 2017.

Valuing stay-at-home parents' contribution in a divorce

28802320_S.jpgThe decision to divorce can be troubling and difficult for many people in Missouri. For the 25% of American mothers who stay at home to raise their children and the 7% of fathers who do the same, the end of a marriage can be particularly worrying. They have spent years outside of the workforce, and, as a result, they may face a much more difficult time obtaining a competitive salary after seeking a job. They may also need additional education or training in order to obtain employment that can provide for themselves and their children.

The decision to stay at home is widely supported in American society, particularly for mothers; studies continue to show that many people believe that mothers should leave the workforce to care for their children. Even 10% of highly educated mothers with a master's degree or higher stay home to dedicate themselves to raising their children. This may mean that they are leaving a high-powered career; when they later return to the workforce, including after a divorce, they can face significantly lower salaries.

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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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