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

What is normal after a divorce?

50533103_S (1).jpgOne issue with a divorce is that it upsets the routines a family has grown accustomed to. A father and mother separate and the children are shuttled between them. What had been normal is no more and something has to fill that space. You can fill it with conflict, disputes and acrimony. Or you can decide to work with your child's other parent to do what is best for your children.

The hard part is what that will be, will be different for your child or children than for someone else's kids. For a parenting plan to both work and serve a child's best interest, both parents must work together. But what works may be very different than what you may have imagined as being "normal."

Make sure your spouse is not an 'accidental' beneficiary

55785782_S.jpgOne element of a divorce that may be lost in all of the emotional trauma and other legal dealings is the effect of a divorce on a will, life insurance or other estate plans. While it is likely that creating a child custody or parenting plan or dealing with issues related to child support may take much of your attention, you should not ignore these other aspects of your divorce.

If you have young children, it is not surprising that the parts of your divorce that deal with their custody arrangements and how their time will be split between you and your spouse will monopolize much of your attention. The details of your parenting plan are very important to raising your children and will also govern much of your interaction with your former spouse. Issues related to matters like life insurance and wills may seem distant and far less pressing.

Problems with your custody order?

27567495_S (1).jpgSummertime can bring hot weather to St. Louis and with that hot weather can come heated arguments among divorced parents over their custody obligations. A parent may be late to pick up a child and the other parent may decide to retaliate by refusing to exchange the child later.

This can quickly escalate into a battle of wills between the parents, with neither side wanting to compromise. If you run into this type of difficulty, where the other parent becomes uncooperative, you may become angry and frustrated. But whatever your emotions, don't try to get even. But make certain you document exactly what happened.

Back to school challenges after a divorce

39079909_S.jpgDivorce is, at its core, a legal procedure. In dissolves a marriage in Missouri, separating the property and debts of a couple. If you have children, it also contains the custody order or parenting plan that will govern the parent's relationship with their children and with each other until those children reach the age of majority.

Divorce is also an emotional experience made all the more so by the presence of children. As a divorced parent, you have to deal with your emotional feelings toward your former spouse and with your children in your new relationship as a part-time single parent.

Joint physical custody: is it right for your family?

41621163_S.jpgPreviously, we began speaking about current Missouri law, which does not provide that joint physical custody involves equal time with each parent. As we pointed out, the statutory language only guarantees "significant" time with each parent, which can obviously be up to the interpretation of the judge assigned to the case.

Lawmakers in both houses of Missouri congress have proposed changes to the law which would change the statutory language to ensure that parents with joint physical custody have basically equal time with the child. This would ensure greater fairness in the way judges assign parenting time in cases involving joint physical custody. 

Joint custody doesn't necessarily mean equal parenting time

20360301_S (1).jpgDivorce is typically a significantly disruptive event for everybody in the family, both couples and their children. Certainly, children are particularly vulnerable in the divorce process, and need the emotional and financial support of both parents during and after the process. The arrangement a couple has regarding parenting time can make a difference.

Under state law, there are two different categories of custody a family court has to look at when determining custody arrangements: legal custody and physical custody. The difference is that physical custody concerns which parent has possession and care of the child at what times, whereas legal custody refers to decision-making rights and responsibilities. 

What if your child wants to live with their other parent?

39977317_S.jpgOne of the problems with a divorce is that even when you do everything right, the outcome may not be exactly as you hoped. This can occur in a wide variety of situations, but one man describes a situation that may not be all that uncommon.

He has apparently had primary custody of his daughter since the divorce. She lives with him during the year and spends half the summer with her mother, who lives in another state. After this summer, the teenage daughter has asked if she can go and live with her mother. She is not unhappy living with her father, but claims that a teen "needs her mom." The father is uncertain what to do.

Receiving advice from divorced friends/family during a divorce

36163433_S.jpgWhen a person notices that a friend or someone in their family is going through a general type of life experience they have also gone through, like a divorce, one of their first inclinations might be to provide advice based on their own experience. So, one thing divorcing individuals may get a lot of over the course of their divorce is advice from friends and family members who have gone through a divorce.

Such advice can sometimes be of great help. Other times though, such advice could create a confusing situation or not have the intended result. One reason for why well-meaning advice from a divorced friend or family member might not always be a good fit for a divorcing individual is that the circumstances of divorces vary massively, from the personalities and interconnections of the people involved, to the situation that led to the divorce, to the key areas of concerns a given divorcing individual has in their efforts to move on following a split. So, something that worked well for one individual in regards to a divorce won't necessarily work well for another.

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