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St. Charles Family Law Blog

What's the process for modifying child support?

Child support is essential to ensure your child's material needs continue to be met. However, financial hardships like illness or loss of employment can affect your ability to pay. In this case, the best course of action is to request a modification by the court, which can be provided on a temporary or permanent basis. The Balance explains the process of requesting a child support modification. 

It helps to understand why modifications are often requested. Along with unexpected changes in income, which can happen for all sorts of reasons, the needs of your child might also change. For example, a child might become involved with an extra-curricular activity that incurs a huge expense. A child may also need expensive medical treatment, such as dental care, that isn't covered by his or her insurance. Since both parents are expected to contribute to child-rearing financially, these costs will be distributed evenly. 

How can I be a good father after divorce?

Being a good father is not always easy. This is especially true after a divorce, which may complicate your ability to parent effectively. When there is animosity between you and your spouse it will unfortunately impact your relationship with your children. There are steps you can take to be a better parent to your kids, as illustrated by Very Well Family

Establish a parenting plan

How can I protect my kids after a divorce?

Many kids experience a range of negative feelings and emotions during a divorce. While these feelings are natural, it's important for parents to do their best to support kids emotionally and insulate them from disputes. Psychology Today explains how parents can do this to ensure their children are able to navigate the divorce and its aftermath in the healthiest way possible. 

While it's easier said than done, do what you can to have a healthy co-parenting relationship with your ex. Kids are best supported by both parents, and you must put hurt feelings and personal differences aside to work with your former spouse on raising your kids in a cohesive manner. A co-parenting plan is beneficial in this case, as it provides a framework for parents to work through issues as they arise. 

Filing for divorce and fear of moving on

A lot of different emotional roadblocks can arise when people initiate a divorce, from stress due to custody to confusion about how marital property may be split up. For some, simply filing for a divorce in general can be overwhelming. Many people never anticipated that they would break up with their spouse, but there are various reasons why divorce becomes inevitable, from abusive behavior to infidelity. If you are afraid to move on in your life but are determined to end your marriage, it is important to prepare yourself as much as possible.

By going over relevant information and having a better understanding of to expect from a legal point of view, some people are able to approach their divorce with more confidence. You should also consider a number of issues that are not related to the legal side of divorce, such as how your daily life may change and steps that you can take to make the transition less complicated. Reaching out to friends and family members may help, and some people find value in picking up a new hobby or devoting more of their time to productive activities.

Value of assets in divorce is important

The financial aspects of a divorce are often some of the most challenging to deal with. You can't rely on your ex's income and you shouldn't have to feel stress about paying the bills more than what is necessary. One way that you can do this is through the property division process, which is when you and your ex will divide the assets and debts that accumulated during the marriage.

When you first find out about the divorce, whether you file the petition or not, you need to sit down and get an idea of what your finances look like now. Creating a budget is one way that you can do this. Ideally, you will get this handled prior to starting the property division process because it gives you an idea of what you can afford to try to keep and what you need to let go.

Missouri businesswomen may protect assets from divorce

Financial independence and charting your own course are things a lot of women don’t take for granted. A business you established and made successful and resilient can seem like a lot to lose in a breakup.

But it is possible to lose an entire business, or see it divided or dissolved, in a divorce. An experienced business and divorce attorney can help you think through prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to protect yourself. Missouri businesswomen also have a curious additional option you may want to discuss, called the Domestic Asset Protection Trust.

How is spousal support calculated?

Also called alimony, spousal support is a factor in many divorces. One spouse can request that the other remit payment to ensure he or she experiences the same standard of living as was enjoyed during the course of the marriage. While state laws usually govern the spousal support process, Forbes explains the factors that are commonly used to make these calculations. 

The five common factors include the duration of the marriage, age and health status of both parties, the requesting spouse's financial needs, the paying spouse's income, and their married lifestyle. The way assets are divided also has an impact on whether spousal support is provided. For instance, if a spouse receives a large portion of the marital property, the court may ultimately decide that alimony is not warranted in that case. For this reason, spousal support decisions are commonly made towards the end of the divorce process, after other issues have already been hashed out.

How can I improve my current custody arrangement?

Shared custody can be difficult for many divorced parents. This is especially true during the school year when planning and scheduling are often far more complex than during summer break. Fortunately, there are things you and your ex can do to make it much easier for all involved, especially your kids. Parents Magazine offers the following advice. 

No two custody arrangements are the same. What works for one family may not work for your situation. Accordingly, feel free to get creative with your former spouse when devising the arrangement. Factors like the age of your children and your work obligations obviously play a significant role in planning. Some examples of custody arrangements are alternating weeks, alternating weekends, or two days with one parent, and the next two days spent with the other. 

How can I be a more effective parent to my child?

Divorce can complicate a parent's job quite a bit. This is especially true if there is a lot of animosity between you and your ex, which often results in squabbles and disputes on the best way to raise a healthy and happy child. If you're looking for ways to be a more loving and effective parent to your children, KidsHealth.org offers the following advice.  

While discipline is important, make time to praise your child for things she does right. For instance, if your child performs a chore without your repeated urging, be sure to offer ample praise if you wish to see the process repeated again and again. Negative feedback is discouraging and may lead to more behavioral issues if that's all your child is ever privy to. Conversely, positive praise is highly motivating and is bound to increase your child's self-esteem quite a bit. 

How does divorce affect your health?

Divorce affects your life in a number of ways. Along with financial changes that often occur after a married couple splits, many people also experience issues with their emotional and physical health. Health.com explains the impact of divorce stress and how you can cope. 

Research shows that chronic health issues are more likely to develop in people who've been divorced. This includes heart problems that can have serious consequences, such as cardiac arrest. In fact, women who've gone through a divorce have a 12% higher risk of suffering from a heart attack than those who have not. Additionally, this risk increases with each divorce a woman experiences. Increased stress is also known to cause an increase in one's blood pressure, which in turn makes for a greater likelihood of stroke. 

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