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

Remember to treat your kids as kids

36637402_S.jpgThe legal world is an adult world. Children cannot, in most cases, sue. When their parent's divorce in St. Louis, they are part of the custody arrangement, but their input is limited by their age and maturity, and even if a judge takes it into consideration, it is simply one of many factors that will be weighed.

So they have to rely on their parents to protect their "best interest." The judge, too, is supposed to make decisions in the child's best interest. And what is that best interest? In one sense, the best interests of the child are that they should be allowed to grow up being treated as a child.

Shared parenting should now become more common in Missouri

48969307_S.jpgOne of the most painful aspects of many divorces in Missouri has been the traditional assumptions that one parent, often the father, really does not need to spend much time with their children. A couple could granted joint custody and a father could still wind up being awarded a few hours on a weeknight and every other weekend.

Many fathers felt shortchanged and according to the research, many children were being shortchanged. This should be changing now, as shared parenting is now the law in Missouri, and judges will now be required to attempt to award time as close as possible to equal between the parents.

Is it the season for your divorce?

45183526_S.jpgIt has been known for some time that after the winter holidays, there is an uptick in divorce filings. Many people wait for the New Year, perhaps giving their children one last set of holiday gatherings with their family. But after those holidays, people reassess their situation and move on.

A recent university study has found that this increase in filings is mirrored in August. The researchers examined divorce records for counties in the state of Washington, noticed the February/March increase and were somewhat surprised to find a similar increase during August.

During a divorce, it is always tax time

40805158_S.jpgWhile tax season may be half a year away, if you are thinking about a divorce or deep in the middle of the process, you should remember to always consider the tax consequence of your choices. There are many elements of a divorce that affect your taxes and many of the financial elements of your divorce should be calculated in light of how taxes will affect the actual sum you may receive.

For instance child support and alimony or spousal support. If you have to pay both of those, you will feel it in your bottom line at the end of the year, as they both will come out of your pocket. As unpleasant as paying alimony may be, it does have one positive factor. It is tax deductable for you. And you will probably pleased to know that your former spouse will have to pay taxes on the portion he or she receives.

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.

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