Annulment vs. Divorce

While most people understand the nature of divorce, confusion abounds over the concept of an annulment. Whereas divorce declares a marriage terminated as of the date of a divorce decree, an annulment declares that the marriage was invalid from its very beginning. Essentially, when a judge grants an annulment, it is a finding that a valid marriage never existed. (There is also a difference between an annulment granted by a religious institution and a civil annulment, but this article only concerns the latter). In Missouri, there is a strong presumption all marriages are valid, which makes it tougher to [...]

2023-01-16T17:35:48+00:00January 16th, 2023|Categories: Divorce|

Can My Spouse and I Be Represented by the Same Attorney for Our Divorce?

If you and your spouse have reached a mutual agreement regarding divorce, you may wonder whether you can retain the same attorney to finalize your divorce. The short answer is no, as it is unethical for an attorney to represent both spouses in a pending divorce action. Joint representation in a divorce creates a conflict of interest for the attorney. No matter how agreeable the terms are to each side, an attorney cannot ethically represent both parties in divorce due to the parties’ competing interests. However, if the parties are amicable and have come to an agreement, it may [...]

2022-12-06T15:59:34+00:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Divorce|

Cryptocurrency and Divorce

Divorce in and of itself is a challenging and often tumultuous process. If your spouse owns cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, tracking and valuing the digital currency can further complicate the process. Cryptocurrencies are unlike traditional currencies because they operate on a decentralized system. There is no central bank, government, or regulatory authority backing the asset. Given its decentralized nature, it can be used to hide marital assets.  You may not know if your spouse owns cryptocurrency. Despite its complex nature, cryptocurrency obtained during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution in divorce just like any other asset. Therefore, if [...]

2022-10-13T14:48:20+00:00October 13th, 2022|Categories: Divorce, Property Division|

Spousal Maintenance in Kansas

When is maintenance (a/k/a alimony) granted in Kansas? As with most legal questions, the answer is that it depends. Kansas law provides that the court may grant maintenance if that amount is fair, just, and equitable under the circumstances. Judges in Kansas look at a number of factors when determining whether to award maintenance. These factors include but are not limited to: 1.) The age of the parties; 2.) The parties’ present and prospective earning capacities; 3.) The length of the marriage; 4.) The property owned by the parties; 5.) The parties’ needs; 6.) The time, source and manner [...]

2022-06-09T15:23:06+00:00June 9th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Termination of Child Support Obligation

A child support obligation is a major financial responsibility. When does that responsibility end? There are several ways that children can be emancipated for child support purposes, and the states of Kansas and Missouri differ in their approaches.   Age According to Kansas law, the age of majority is 18. Typically, when the child reaches the age of 18, a child support obligation ends, although child support payments will continue through high school graduation if certain basic high school requirements are met. Parents are not required to pay college expenses or child support for adult children in college, although [...]

2022-05-11T15:04:01+00:00May 11th, 2022|Categories: Child Support|

Impact of the Children’s Desires in a Custody Dispute

Determining a child custody arrangement and parenting plan with a detailed parenting time schedule is one of the many issues parties are confronted with during a divorce. Custody issues can easily turn into the most contentious issues during the divorce. Courts in both Missouri and Kansas consider a list of statutory factors when determining the child custody arrangement. One of the most common misconceptions is that there is a magic age where children can decide with which parent they want to live or what the parenting schedule should be. This is not accurate, and prior to becoming adults, the [...]

2022-03-14T15:56:01+00:00March 14th, 2022|Categories: Child Custody|

Annulment in Missouri

It is rare in Missouri for the Courts to grant an annulment of a marriage, but there is a procedure for declaring a marriage to be invalid that is authorized by the Missouri statutes. An annulment, rather than a dissolution of marriage (divorce), may be proper only in very specific situations, such as: The married parties have a close relationship, typically by blood. One of the parties at the time of the marriage did not satisfy the age requirement and did not receive the court’s consent – in Missouri, the age requirement is 16 with parental consent, or 18 [...]

2022-02-21T15:51:07+00:00February 21st, 2022|Categories: Divorce|

Discovery in Divorce Cases

After a Petition for Divorce (or Dissolution of Marriage as it is called in Missouri) has been filed, the parties can begin the discovery process. “Discovery” is the process by which the parties exchange information and documents to enable the attorneys and parties to prepare for negotiations and/or trial. Discovery can be conducted formally or informally, and it is a useful procedure for ensuring both parties have a complete picture of the marital estate and the finances of both parties. In a dissolution of marriage proceeding, it is important for a party to disclose his or her income and [...]

2021-11-29T16:04:11+00:00November 29th, 2021|Categories: Divorce|

Relocation of a Child’s Residence under Kansas Law

Parents who are subject to a custody order in the state of Kansas must follow a specific procedure outlined by state law before they can move a child from the child’s principal residence for a period of more than ninety days. First, the parent moving with the child must give notice to the nonmoving parent at least thirty days in advance. That notice must consist of a letter, sent through restricted mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the other parent. (See K.S.A. 23-3222). If a parent fails to notify the other parent, he or she [...]

2021-11-02T15:15:42+00:00November 2nd, 2021|Categories: Child Custody|

The Role of the Guardian ad Litem

If you are involved in a family law matter in Missouri or Kansas concerning minor children, you may have heard of a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”). The role of the GAL is very specific and dissimilar to the role of your own attorney in such matters. At the request of either party or on the Court’s own initiative, a GAL may be appointed where custody or parenting time is at issue between the parties. These proceedings can include divorce actions, paternity actions, adoptions, modifications, etc. Whereas the appointment of a GAL is usually discretionary with the Court, in Missouri, [...]

2021-10-19T16:46:24+00:00October 19th, 2021|Categories: Child Custody|
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