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St. Charles Family Law Blog

The potential ups and downs of joint custody

Parents in St. Charles have a few custody options to look into when deciding how to raise a child post-divorce. One frequently touted option is that of joint custody, which has both drawbacks and benefits that can impact a family.

FindLaw defines joint custody as a situation in which both parents share custodial responsibility over their child in legal terms. Though physical custody may be shared in these situations, the primary benefit is that both parents have an equal say in highly impactful aspects of the child's life. This includes:

  • Religious decisions
  • Which school(s) the child will attend
  • Medical choices such as those involving vaccinations or surgical procedures
  • Afterschool activities

Mothers do not automatically get full custody

A complex Missouri divorce is draining for everyone involved, especially if each parent wants sole custody of the children or one parent demands at least joint custody. The team at Turken & Porzenski, L.L.C., has experience helping clients navigate the turbulent nature of child custody and visitation.

Although courts do not automatically award custody to the mother, you still may have an uphill battle when fighting for visitation and custody rights. VeryWell family has assembled tips to help fathers prepare when filing for full or joint custody.

  • Making consistent support payments is at the top of the requirements list. Even if the arrangement is informal, you should keep making payments on the agreed upon schedule. Maintain records, keep proof of cashed checks, transferred amounts and any correspondence to corroborate you are upholding the agreement.
  • If there is an agreed upon parenting plan that contains a visitation schedule, stick to it. If there is nothing in place, develop one for submission to the court. This signals that you take responsibility to your children seriously
  • Spend time with your children and participate in their lives. Attend school functions, speak with their teachers and coaches and know their friends. If you spend most of their time with you working or pursuing your own activities without your children, they will likely side to stay with their mother when asked about their preferences by the court.
  • Be honest with yourself about your capabilities. If you have responsibilities that keep you away from home or traveling frequently, pushing for joint or full custody may not work well for you or your children.

Can organization help improve the outcome of my divorce?

Several factors can influence the outcome of your divorce. Some of those factors may be out of your control. However, your organization is one aspect of the divorce process you can control, and it can be beneficial to make the most of every factor you can control.

Many people overlook the importance of organization. However, being organized early in the divorce process can have a surprising number of benefits.

Filing for divorce after a spouse moves overseas

There are countless reasons why marriages crumble, but some divorces are very unique. For example, a spouse may move to another country, whether they want to live in the country they grew up in or they have decided to relocate across the world for work. When someone heads abroad for a long period of time, their marriage may fall apart. Affairs, uncertainty, anger about the decision and growing apart are some of the reasons why this decision can adversely affect a marital relationship. If you are in this position, you should review your options carefully.

Not only can divorce issues be tough for those who stay behind, but people living in another country may be unsure of what to do when they learn that their spouse wants to end the marriage. Moreover, these divorces can be particularly tough when kids are involved, especially when it comes to child custody. You should always work to protect your interests and obtain the most favorable outcome and realize how much may be at stake during your divorce. Property division, child support and attending court are just some of the matters that can be complicated for couples who are going through this.

How can I know if paternity is established?

Fathers have a unique situation when they have a child. Nobody can deny who the mother is thanks to biology, but the father is not proven through biology in an obvious way. Having established paternity is very important. It gives you legal rights to your child. Without it, you could face serious issues with trying to be involved in your child's life in Missouri.

First, it is important to know that if you and the mother are married when you child is born, you are automatically the legal father. The marriage seals the deal, so to speak. You do not have to do anything to prove paternity or seek legal rights as you have them the moment the baby is born.

What should dads paying child support know?

If you’re a non-custodial parent in Missouri, you are probably making child support payments to your ex-spouse. This can be a frustrating process, especially if you disagree with the way the custodial parent is spending the money you provide. Fatherly.com offers the following tips to ensure your child support obligation doesn’t negatively impact your relationship with your kids.

Payment should never be withheld

What happens to your family business during a divorce?

If you and your spouse are a high-asset Missouri couple headed for divorce, your family business may well constitute your largest marital asset as well as your family’s only source of income. This is why you need to carefully consider what to do with it when you divorce.

As reported in Forbes, divorcing couples who own family businesses generally split them up in one of the following three ways

  1. Sale and division of proceeds
  2. Buyout of one spouse by the other
  3. Continued post-divorce joint ownership

What are the hardest properties to divide in divorce?

There are many things to go into the true value of an asset, but some are more complex than others. If you were to consider divorce in St. Charles County, Missouri, it would be important to consider all of these financial aspects for each line item. That way, you have the best hope of maintaining your way of life after you and your spouse separate.

Certain assets would be relatively easy to decide. For example, you might distribute a joint bank account evenly, with half to you half to your ex. However, that would probably not be the case when it comes to other things, such as businesses, securities or unique pieces of property. Here is how you might handle these special cases.

The Gray Divorce: Divorcing at 50+

According to Forbes, roughly 25 percent of divorcees are over the age of 50. Although people often find it difficult to readjust to being single at this stage in their lives, many Missouri residents do, and they’re thriving. One way that divorcees ensure a smooth adjustment is by prioritizing financial security, especially as retirement is not too far away.

When it comes to financial security, the big elephant in the room is often who gets to keep the house. More often than not, the primary caregiver will hold on to the real estate to make it easier to care for the children. In fact, even when the nest has emptied, men may willingly surrender the primary house to their ex-wives.

Parallel parenting may help make joint custody more palatable

Many divorced parents end up with joint custody of their children because courts recognize that it is important for the children to be able to maintain relationships with both parents. Some parents can put their feelings aside to successfully co-parent their children. However, when parents have a high-conflict relationship, attempting to co-parent may cause more harm than good.

Although parents who cannot get along may not be able to co-parent, they can still make joint custody work. A parallel parenting strategy may offer a way for children to have healthy relationships with both parents while minimizing the potential for conflict between parents.

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