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St. Charles Family Law Blog

How do I deal with a difficult spouse in a high-asset divorce?

One thing that divorce is often not in high-asset couplings in the St. Charles area is amicable. More money, assets and property often mean more problems. When emotions are involved, the stakes are higher, and the situation becomes highly complex. It is not uncommon for separating couples to let their feelings about their failed relationships take center stage and use them to delay and cause problems during their divorces. 

Believe it or not, your partner’s behavior during the divorce can have an impact on the settlement. Consider the following tactics to diffuse the situation to improve the outcome of your negotiations. 

How should the wealthy approach divorce?

No one is immune to the threat of divorce. Divorce may come as a complete surprise to one partner and leave many decisions clouded with heavy negative emotions and feelings of uncertainty. It can be difficult to navigate your way out of a marriage where lives and households have blended together in legal union.

Depending on the situation, wealthy divorces can be either costly or economic. Avoiding a contested trial divorce may be in your best interest when seeking to spend the least amount in divorce expenses. If both parties are in agreement on major decisions, divorce mediation can save both stress and money.

The many benefits of paternity testing

In a time that is likely already laden with questions, uncertainty surrounding a child's biological parent can be overwhelming. Sometimes, the mere request of taking a DNA test can become a challenge in itself. However, this information can be crucial not only in a parent's life, but in the child's, as well. Below are some of the many reasons why paternity testing in Missouri can make all the difference.

The American Pregnancy Association dedicates a webpage to paternity testing and the myriad of benefits it can provide. While many expecting parents feel a request for testing can make a situation uncomfortable, the APA stresses that doing so can help protect a child's future. In addition, paternity testing can confirm a child custody and support arrangement -- which can encompass legal and social benefits. It can also be beneficial to know a child's medical history so healthcare professionals can carry out the best possible care. Last, but not least, the APA points out that testing can ultimately help strengthen bonds between children and their parents. 

The emotional toll of ending a marriage with a high net worth

For those with a high net worth, ending a marriage can be challenging for diverse reasons. Often, people preparing for these divorces have more at stake and they may be especially worried about the financial consequences of divorce. However, there are times when moving on becomes necessary and people should not feel trapped due to worries about finances. The divorce process can have an emotional toll on people in this position in other ways as well. For example, they may be affected from an emotional point of view and, as a result, encounter difficulties involving work. If you are getting ready to end your marriage, you should keep these factors in mind as you move ahead.

From concerns about who will be granted custody to alimony, child support, and the way that a court decides to divide marital property, there are various reasons why divorce can cause high stress levels. If left unchecked, this could carry over into the workplace and affect your job performance as well, or your ability to run your company if you are a business owner. Even for those who do not work or own a company, this stress can have a negative impact on one's health.

Detailing the different types of alimony

Many of those preparing for divorces in St. Charles come to us here at Turken & Porzenski LLC expecting to be entitled to alimony. Like them, you may be disappointed to hear that alimony is not guaranteed in divorce cases. Rather than being a punitive obligation placed on your soon-to-be ex-spouse, alimony is simply meant to provide you with support until you remarry or are able to secure gainful employment. The type of alimony awarded can even differ from case-to-case. 

There are generally four types of alimony awarded in divorce cases: 

  • Temporary alimony 
  • Permanent alimony
  • Rehabilitative alimony 
  • Reimbursement alimony

Why children fare best when they know their fathers

If you live in Missouri and believe you may have fathered a child, you may want to consider taking a paternity test so that you can secure the answers you need. If you are not the father of the child in question, a paternity test can keep you from having to pay child support. Conversely, finding out that you are, in fact, a child’s father, can prove tremendously beneficial not only for you, but for your child. At Turken & Porzenski, L.L.C., we have more than 17 years of experiencing helping clients conduct paternity tests and navigate related family law issues, and we have a firm understanding of just how important your presence in your son or daughter’s life can prove to be.

Per Fatherly, children who know both parents tend to fare better in numerous areas than those who do not have relationships with their fathers. Collectively, the many benefits children experience by maintaining relationships with their fathers are known as the “Father Effect.” Just how does the Father Effect impact your child’s overall well-being?

Can property be excluded from division in a divorce?

If you face a divorce in the state of Missouri, the marital property will be divided between spouses. However, just because a holding was acquired during the marriage, it does not automatically fall into the category of marital assets.

According to Missouri’s Office of State Courts, there are exceptions that allow your assets to be considered non-marital in nature, allowing them to be excluded from property division. If one spouse has received property as a gift or as part of an inheritance, it can be considered non-marital property. This also goes for an acquisition the spouse obtains during the marriage if the money or property used to secure it comes from gifts or inheritances received prior to entering the marriage.

What if your ex wants to move away with the kids?

Even after your divorce in St. Charles, you likely will want to maintain a strong relationship with your children. That automatically becomes more difficult given the increased space that now exists between you. What if your ex-spouse wants to increase that space by moving away with the kids? Adhering to your custody agreement suddenly becomes much more difficult if your ex relocates, or even impossible if he or she does it without notifying you. The question is can he or she do that? 

Family courts in Missouri recognize the need for kids to have strong bonds with both their parents when that is possible. Thus, laws have been enacted that deal specifically with the issue of parental relocation. They can be found in Section 452.377 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. They stipulate that if your ex-spouse wants to move, he or she must notify you of that intention at least 60 days prior to it happening. That notice must include: 

  • His or her relocation destination, with at least the city and state listed if a specific address is not yet known
  • The date he or she intends to move
  • A statement detailing why he or she believes the children should relocate with him or her
  • A proposed revised visitation schedule

How are a child’s “best interests” determined in a divorce case?

One of the most difficult aspects of a child custody case is determining what each parent feels is in their child’s best interest. You might think you have a grasp of what you think your child needs most, but it’s the court that will make the final decision.

Luckily, there are common questions in child custody cases which can make providing your child with a healthy and happy life easier.

Why do I need a prenuptial agreement?

Say the words “prenuptial agreement” and you are almost sure to see a frown on the face of anyone and everyone in the room. Missouri residents, as well as those in other states, may see such documents as a harbinger of doom to a couple planning a marriage, or at the very least, not a great way to start such an endeavor. But prenuptial agreements have benefits too, some of them reaching beyond the marriage to include security for family members too.

According to FindLaw, a premarital agreement helps safeguard each spouse’s separate property and defines what they consider community property, which they own together. This gives the couple a starting place for sorting out what belongs to who should the marriage fail, as unfortunately, about half of all marriages do in the U.S.

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