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St. Charles Family Law Blog

What should I know about paternity fraud?

Many Missouri fathers would find one of their worst nightmares is to discover that the child they have called their son or daughter for years is not their offspring at all. Unfortunately, some men do live this nightmare because of paternity fraud. According to Very Well Family, paternity fraud is when a man is designated to be the father of a child when that is not the case at all. There are a number of reasons why men are wrongly identified as fathers.

A typical instance of paternity fraud involves a man signing an affidavit of paternity not knowing that he is not the true father of a child. The man may have been or is currently in a relationship with the mother, so the man may think nothing of signing the affidavit in addition to the birth certificate of the child. However, if a DNA test is not ordered to confirm paternity, the affidavit will remain as the seemingly definitive proof of fatherhood.

Who gets the pets in a divorce?

Property division is rarely easy for couples in Missouri. However, when a beloved pet is at the center of a custody dispute it can be downright heartbreaking. While you can ultimately leave the decision up to court, there are steps you and your former spouse can take to decide on your own. In this case, PetMD offers the following advice.

If you have kids and the other parent has primary custody, you might consider leaving the pet at home. Along with the many other traumas of divorce, losing a pet is likely to compound the hurt feelings and cause unnecessary pain. If you miss your pet, perhaps you can work out an arrangement where he comes along during visitation days.

Why 'winning' a custody battle is not really a thing

Divorce creates noticeable problems for many families in Missouri as they work through the emotions of losing relationships and seeing changes in others. For many people, the pain of such a significant familial change takes its toll as people pick and choose sides and make judgments without being aware of the whole story. One major uphill battle that many couples face is designating the custody of the children they share. 

Contrary to the mindset of many people that custody battles can be "won," there is no such thing as a winner. Despite one's beliefs that being awarded custody to some degree is having won the battle, everyone still suffers emotional trauma and may be required to some point, to relinquish their desires. Also, the impact of a child custody battle on the children in question can be far more damaging than many people realize. 

How your divorce can benefit from a forensic accountant

Divorce affects Missouri families of all types, from high-profile power couples to the family down the block. However, when it comes to complex divorces, sometimes additional expertise can ensure an equitable division of property. The team at Turken & Prozenski, L.L.C. has experience handling the complex nature of dividing substantial assets and spousal maintenance agreements.

Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors states that when a spouse suspects hidden assets or unreported income, a forensic accountant can often assist in the divorce settlement. These highly experienced, qualified specialists use several strategies for uncovering all assets considered marital property.

  • Imaging electronic devices. Special software provides access to a hard drive’s deleted files, emails and other pertinent information. Using this technique, accounting professionals can find assets previously hidden.
  • Reviewing financial information. The specialists examine all financial activities, from business and personal tax returns to a search through public records and loan applications, identifying potentially questionable actions.
  • Investigating a closely held business. Business owners often take advantage of their position and take corporate funds as additional compensation or use the money for executive perks. An investigation can ferret out the information and uncover an accurate value of the business.  
  • Analysis of the family’s lifestyle. Forensic experts determine whether the reported income supports the expenditures. He or she reviews financial records including credit card statements, brokerage and bank accounts, as well as any other related documentation that can substantiate the family’s quality of life.

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects spousal support

If you are considering a divorce in Missouri, there are some changes this year regarding spousal support that may significantly change the outcome of your overall settlement.  At Turken & Porzenski, L.L.C., our team of experienced professionals understand how to navigate the complex legal process and provide you with personalized service.

According to CNBC, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the tax rules on alimony as of January 1, 2019. For the last 70 years, the spouse making the support payments could deduct them on his or her taxes; the spouse receiving the payments reported them on their tax paperwork. As of this year, that is no longer true either. These changes may affect how couples view divorce.

Six ways to know if your spouse is hiding assets

Getting a divorce often brings out the worst in people. All the grudges you have been holding against each other rise to the surface. Or perhaps you discovered your spouse was unfaithful. Whatever the exact circumstances, you and your soon-to-be ex are not on good terms.

You are also beginning to suspect your spouse is attempting to hide money from you. Unfortunately, a partner hiding assets during a divorce happens more often than you may think. Here are six ways to determine if your ex is being untruthful about finances.

How can I strengthen my bond with my children?

Many divorced dads in Missouri worry that bonds with their children aren’t as strong as they could be. It can be tough to effectively bond with your kids after divorce, especially when your relationship with your ex is strained or your split was particularly contentious. Because it’s crucial that you maintain a strong and loving relationship with your children, Very Well Family offers the following advice.

Make your kids top priority

Are post-nuptial agreements enforceable?

While both documents serve the same purpose, post-nuptial agreements differ from prenups in that they are created after a marriage is already in progress. As a result, many people question their validity and worry that they will not be upheld should a divorce occur. The Spruce explains what elements must be present to ensure a post-nuptial agreement is enforceable in court.

The first element concerns whether assets have been fully disclosed in the document. Some people will attempt to hide assets from their spouse when divorcing to ensure they aren’t split during the process. If you fail to include all of your assets in the post-nup, the court may find the entire document invalid and subsequently not honor its terms.

How can I create a parenting schedule that works?

In Missouri, divorced couples often have a difficult time creating reasonable parenting schedules. It’s crucial that both parents play a vital role in the lives of their kids, even if they have issues between them. To ensure you can develop a reasonable schedule that works well for everyone involved, Very Well Family offers the following tips.

Keep your kids in mind

When should I ask for a child support modification?

Once you go to court and finalize your child support order in Missouri, you are not bound by this order forever. You always have the option to return to court for a modification. There are some limitations on requesting changes to your order. The Missouri Bar explains you may only request a modification if there is a substantial change or it has been three years since the original order.

Substantial change means that you or the child's other parent has at least a 20 percent change in income or if the child has a change in medical status or living situation. Anything that would greatly impact the amount of support you pay or receive is a substantial change.

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