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Legal Separation vs. Dissolution of Marriage: Which Should I Choose?

When a marriage relationship ends in Missouri, spouses have two different options they can pursue: legal separation and dissolution of marriage (divorce). Many people think legal separation is an easier temporary process than going through a full dissolution of marriage, but that is not exactly accurate. In fact, the two processes are virtually identical because all the same issues must be decided in either proceeding-- division of property and debts, maintenance, custody, and child support. However, there are a few important distinctions between legal separation and divorce. The main legal distinction is that after a legal separation, the parties [...]

2024-05-13T15:53:58+00:00May 13th, 2024|Categories: Divorce|

How Do I Get Alimony in Missouri?

Alimony, which is called “maintenance” in the state of Missouri, is an award made by the court requiring one spouse to provide financial assistance to the other spouse after divorce. This is support for the spouse and is distinct from child support. There is no specific formula for deciding if one spouse will get alimony, but Missouri statutes outline the general requirements a court must follow when deciding on an award of maintenance. First, the court will determine if the spouse seeking maintenance has a need for it in light of his or her property and income. The first [...]

2024-04-25T15:49:00+00:00April 25th, 2024|Categories: Spousal Maintenance|

How Is Property Divided in a Divorce in Kansas?

When you are getting a divorce, it is important to understand how the courts in the state you are living in divide property between the spouses. Typically, the court will value the property and then divide it between the spouses. In contrast to states like Missouri where the court can only divide property acquired during the marriage, Kansas law allows the court to divide all the property either spouse owns at the time of divorce, regardless of when each spouse acquired it. The courts will often set aside to each party his or her premarital property as individual property, [...]

2024-03-07T16:39:57+00:00March 7th, 2024|Categories: Property Division|

Do I Have to Get a Divorce to End a Common Law Marriage?

The short answer is yes. However, it is important to first understand if you actually have a valid common-law marriage. Contrary to popular belief, only some states still allow common law marriages, and they have various requirements for what constitutes a common-law marriage. In states that still allow it, common-law marriage is a legally binding marital relationship between two people without the requirements of obtaining a marriage license and having a marriage ceremony. In general, the requirements of common law marriage are capacity to marry, an agreement to be married, and that the parties hold themselves out as husband [...]

2024-02-21T16:14:29+00:00February 21st, 2024|Categories: Divorce|

How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

To use a lawyer’s typical answer to any legal question: it depends. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the amount one will spend on a divorce, such as whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, whether other professionals are required, such as a Guardian ad Litem, custody evaluator, business appraiser, etc., and how long the divorce process itself takes. If a divorce is uncontested, the process should be relatively quick without substantial legal costs. However, if the divorce is contested, the process will likely take more than a few months and involve substantial costs. Lawyers typically [...]

2024-01-11T16:22:14+00:00January 11th, 2024|Categories: Divorce|

Substance Abuse and Divorce

Substance abuse is often a major factor in the breakup of marriages, and clients need to know how the presence of substance abuse will affect their case. When it comes to the division of assets and the financial aspects of a divorce, substance abuse typically won’t affect the Court’s ruling unless the spouse with substance abuse issues has used significant marital funds to support the addiction. On the other hand, substance abuse can have a substantial impact on the issues of child custody and parenting time. While simply drinking alcohol is not prohibited in normal parenting plans, if there [...]

2023-12-14T16:56:58+00:00December 14th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody|

New Revision to Missouri Custody Statute

Missouri recently revised § 452.375 R.S. Mo., which is the statute that lists the factors a judge must consider when making child custody and parenting time decisions. The biggest change to this statute is that Missouri now recognizes a presumption that 50/50 parenting time is in the best interests of a child. Although this is now the presumed standard, that presumption can be rebutted by showing by a preponderance of the evidence that it is not in the best interests of the child to award equal parenting time to the parents. In determining whether or not to rebut the [...]

2023-11-27T16:30:23+00:00November 27th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody|

How Are Assets and Debts Divided in a Divorce in Missouri?

When considering how to divide the assets and debts of a marriage, the court takes certain factors into account, including but not limited to: (1) the age of the parties; (2) how long the marriage lasted; (3) the parties’ current and future income earning capacities; (4) how each asset or debt was acquired; and (5) any other factors relevant to determine a reasonable division of property. The division of the marital estate must be just, and it's important to note that a “just” division may not be an equal division. Courts will consider all the circumstances, including the factors [...]

2023-11-03T14:49:58+00:00November 3rd, 2023|Categories: Property Division|

Registering Custody Judgments from Other States in Missouri

If you are moving to Missouri from a different state and have a child custody order you want to make sure can be enforced or modified, it’s important to register it in the state of Missouri as a first step. To do this, one must first send to the court: (1) a letter requesting registration of the child custody order; (2) two copies of the child custody order, with one being certified; (3) a verified statement from you that to the best of your knowledge, said order has not been modified; and (4) your name and address, along with [...]

2023-09-28T15:17:21+00:00September 28th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody|

Duty to Notify of Income Increase in Kansas

Divorced parents often ask questions about whether they have a duty to advise their ex-spouse of changes in income that might affect child support. While there is no such requirement in Missouri, there is a duty to notify in Kansas. Kansas Judges are required to follow the Kansas Child Support Guidelines, which direct how child support should be calculated. The Guidelines also direct when and what factors make child support modification appropriate. According to the Guidelines, either a material change in circumstances needs to be shown or the passage of three years is required for a child support order [...]

2023-08-21T15:22:57+00:00August 21st, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized|
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