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St. Charles Family Law Blog

Grappling with divorce and child custody issues

As more and more households experience divorce, the number of blended families in America is on the rise. Even though marital separation is incredibly common today, the complex feelings and difficult stages that ensue are nevertheless painful for many. Divorcing spouses with children might have to consider not only new living arrangements, but a meeting informing the child of the separation entirely. The talk may be daunting, but there are a number of strategies Missouri parents can use to make the whole process smoother.

Before child custody arrangments are well underway, it may be ideal to first discuss the situation with children involved. Parents magazine explains that because children have the natural desire to keep the family together, one way to go about a divorce meeting is to have both parents present. Doing so can create a sense of unity in an otherwise distressing situation. Planning a meeting ahead of time can also help parents hit all the important notes of the divorce, including where the child will be living (if a change is necessary). Although there is no way to predict exactly how a child will react, parents might also need to consider age differences in order to best explain the bigger picture. 

Jury sides with father in bitter custody dispute

Couples may not go in to divorce proceedings in St. Charles intending for things to get hostile. The residual effects of their separation, however, may influence their emotions during the process. Throw into that mix having to decide on custody matters, and it may be easy to see how such proceedings can quickly become nasty. Accusations and allegations may begin to fly, each painting the other parent as having issues that would call his or her fitness to raise any child (much less his or her own) into question. The hope is that those deciding the case are able to see through all of the bitterness and animosity and arrive at a ruling that is best for the kids involved. 

The hope is that is what has happened with the conclusion of a particularly bitter custody dispute in Texas. Managing custody was awarded to the father of a four-year old following a contentious battle with the girl's mother. She had accused him of potentially molesting the girl, while he claimed she was trying to turn his daughter against him. Despite the mother's accusations, her case for custody was no doubt hindered after she defied a court order and hid the girl for over a week. 

Why discovery can be contentious during divorce

If you have heard horror stories about contentious divorces that take years to resolve, you may be lamenting the process of a contested divorce. Indeed, divorce litigation is not for the faint of heart because of how the emotions stemming from a failed marriage can make routine exercises appear vindictive even though they are not meant to be.  

The process of discovery can be one of those emotionally charged processes.

How do you decide who gets your pet?

When you get a divorce, you may not initially think about what will happen to your pet. This is important to consider, though, as Missouri law does not always see your pet the way you do.

According to Rover.com, pets are typically considered property. This means that while you may want to talk about who will have custody of your pet, a court may view this animal as property which needs to be distributed. Because of this, it is a good idea to consider what will happen to your pet early on in the divorce process.

What Sort of Questions Are Asked at a Child Custody Hearing?

Determining child custody is one of the most difficult aspects for Missouri couples going through a divorce. Being prepared for a hearing can have a real impact on the outcome, especially when it comes to question asked by the judge. The Spruce offers insight on what you can expect, from questions about finances to how you communicate with your ex-spouse.

Are You Seeking Sole or Joint Custody?

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
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