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Topeka, KS Divorce & Family Law Blog by Stange Law Firm, PC

How to handle the emotions of divorce

41852185_s.jpgDivorcing is unquestionably difficult, which is why divorcing spouses must usually deal with a variety of emotions during the divorce process. Knowing how to deal with those emotions can help the divorce process be less challenging for spouses, making it a valuable step to become familiar with divorce issues and how best to address the inevitable emotions associated with divorce.

It is not uncommon during a divorce to experience a range of varying emotions that can oftentimes be quite intense. Divorce emotions that spouses may find themselves experiencing can include sadness, confusion, anger and frustration. Divorcing spouses should be patient with him or herself, remembering that they do not have to go through the divorce process alone. They can benefit from friends, family and trained guidance during their divorce.

Missouri spousal maintenance basics

68848346_s.jpgSpousal maintenance is one of the primary issues divorcing couples may need to resolve during their divorce. Just like other divorce-related issues such as child support, child custody and property division, it is helpful to understand how spousal maintenance is handled during a divorce.

Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is designed to ensure that both spouses have a solid financial foundation following their divorce. Spousal support can help one spouse who may have remained at home to care for the house and children or got a late start on their own career, which may result in them being at a financial disadvantage compared to the higher-earning spouse. One spouse may be granted spousal support during a divorce in Missouri if they lack sufficient property, including the marital property awarded to them to them during the divorce, and if they are unable to support themselves through appropriate employment or if they will have custody of a child and should not be required to seek employment.

How child support is enforced

93383878_s.jpgChild support enforcement is important for many families in Clayton. Understanding how to enforce a child support order is essential for many parents to ensure they receive the support they need for their children.

Methods of enforcing child support include the withholding of state and federal tax refunds; wage garnishment; seizure of personal property; suspension of an occupational license; suspension of a business license; revocation or suspension of a driver's license; the denial of a passport; and jail time in some circumstances. The penalties for failing to pay child support are significant, which is why parents should be aware of them.

The different types of child custody the court may consider

42104101_s.jpgThere are different types of child custody arrangements that parents in Missouri should be familiar with and understand. Doing so can help them through their child custody process and better resolve their child custody concerns.

In general, there are five different types of child custody arrangements available in Missouri. One type of child custody arrangement is when the parents enjoy joint physical and legal custody of the child. Another type of child custody arrangement may award shared physical custody of the child but sole legal custody of the child to one parent. Alternately, one parent may be awarded sole physical custody of the child while both parents enjoy joint legal custody of the child. In addition, one parent may be awarded sole physical and sole legal custody of the child. Lastly, custody or visitation to third parties, such as grandparents, may also be possible.

The Hague Convention and its impact on child custody

119438208_S.jpgThe Hague Convention is important for any parent who has had a child internationally abducted to understand. When a parent abduction has resulted in a child being removed from the country, the Hague Convention may be able to help the parent seeking return of the child.

The Hague Convention, which bears the full name the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, has been ratified by 80 countries. The provisions of the Hague Convention focus on returning a child to the location of their habitual residence and does not address other child custody concerns and issues parents may have. Once the child is safely returned, the family law system can help parents focus on other child custody concerns they will likely have following a parent abduction.

Uncontested divorce basics

29683453_S.jpgDivorcing couples who are able to agree on many of the divorce-related issues they will need to resolve may be able to benefit from an uncontested divorce but may also have questions about what an uncontested divorce is. Understanding the basics can help divorcing couples decide if an uncontested divorce is the best option for them.

An uncontested divorce refers to when the divorcing couple agrees to divorce and to the major divorce-related issues they will need to resolve during their divorce including property division, child custody, child support and spousal support when relevant. An uncontested divorce is distinguished from a contested divorce that is commonly litigated through the divorce court process for couples who do not agree on property division, child custody, child support and other divorce-related concerns.

What types of expenses are covered by child support?

43470088_S.jpgIt is important to understand what child support payments are intended for because there are a number of expenses that child support is intended for. Knowing what is included in child support payments and what is not included is helpful for divorcing couples trying to work out child support concerns during their divorce or in circumstances of unmarried parents.

Child support payments are intended for basic necessities including housing, food and clothing but they are also intended for a variety of other expenses as well. Child support payments are intended for medical care; educational fees; childcare; transportation and travel costs; entertainment expenses; extracurricular activities; and college expenses. There are also some expenses that are not covered that may also be addressed in a divorce settlement agreement.

A look at property division complexities

130273551_S.jpgProperty division may not always be as straightforward as divorcing couples would like which is why they should be familiar with how the property division process works and can help them address concerns including investments and retirement accounts and the division of a family home. Since the 1990s, divorce rates for those over 50 years old have over doubled which is why concerns like how a marital home will be divided during divorce are understandably important concerns.

In general, equitable property division rules are followed in Kansas and Missouri which calls for a fair division of property when couples divorce. Marital property is generally the category of property that is divided which can include the equity in a family home. One option is for the family home to be sold and the proceeds divided between the divorcing couple according to equitable property division rules. Another option is for one spouse to remain in the marital home and to buy out the other spouse.

What is considered marital property during divorce?

99891587_S.jpgMarital property and what it includes is important to be familiar with because it determines what property is divided during divorce. Marital property is subject to division during the divorce process, while separate property, which it differs from, is not subject to the property division process during divorce.

Different states follow different property division rules during divorce. States are divided into either community property or equitable property division states depending on how property is divided when couples divorce. Kansas is an equitable property division state which means that it follows equitable division principles when property is divided between divorcing couples. In general, equitable division refers to fairly divided property while community property division refers to property being divided in half between the divorcing couple.

What is the best interests of the child standard?

70589582_S.jpgDivorcing parents may have heard of the best interests of the child standard and may wonder what it is and how it is used to determine child custody. The best interests of the child is a standard the family law court uses to determine child custody and visitation and help parents work out their child custody concerns.

What is in the best interests of the child should always remain in focus when child custody determinations are being made. Whether the family law court is making a child custody decision or the divorcing couple is reaching a child custody arrangement together, the guiding consideration should always be what is in the best interests of the child which will be used to help determine physical and legal custody, as well as visitation and any modifications down the road.

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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
  • 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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