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Custody of Family Pets

While there are clear procedures in place for custody of children and division of property post-divorce, the law offers little guidance on an issue often of great importance to divorcing couples: the family pet.  Traditionally, the law recognizes a family dog or cat as nothing more than property to be divided along with the couches, TV’s, and other household goods.  The law falls short of reality in this situation, as many people love their pets as bona fide family members. While pets are traditionally viewed as property in the eyes of the law, some courts and states are beginning [...]

2020-01-24T15:54:33+00:00January 24th, 2020|Categories: Divorce|

Holiday Parenting Time

As the holidays approach, many parents in the process of divorce may be concerned about how a time of year centered on family will be handled now that the family is changing. While it is natural to want to have your children with you for every holiday every year, it is important for children to get to spend holiday time with each of their parents when their parents are no longer together. The parenting plan that you will prepare with your divorce attorney will have a parenting time schedule, which will include a specific schedule for all major holidays. [...]

2019-12-17T22:43:02+00:00December 17th, 2019|Categories: Child Custody|

Grandparent Visitation

Child custody and parenting time issues can be complex and emotional for parents. But parents aren’t always the only parties involved in child custody and visitation disputes. In some situations, grandparents may be denied the chance to see their grandchildren or may even want to obtain custody of their grandchildren. In both Missouri and Kansas, there are legal options, albeit limited, that can be pursued for grandparents who find themselves in these situations. In Missouri, grandparents can file for visitation with their grandchildren during or after a divorce or after the death of a parent. However, an award of [...]

2019-11-05T17:05:54+00:00November 5th, 2019|Categories: Child Custody|

Navigating New Relationships after Divorce When Children Are Involved

For divorced or never married parents who are no longer together, there will likely come a time when one or both parents choose to introduce the children to a new dating partner. It is also common for one or both parents to remarry, adding stepparents to an already complicated co-parenting situation. While most parents make good decisions regarding who they bring around their children, it is not uncommon for a parent to be concerned about the impact the other parent’s relationships are having on the children. Sometimes, the concern is that multiple dating partners are abruptly entering and exiting [...]

2019-10-10T16:48:13+00:00October 10th, 2019|Categories: Child Custody|

Calculating Child Support in Missouri

Child support is a significant issue in most divorces where children are involved, as well as in parentage actions where the parents have never been married. The general rule is that the parent who has the minor children the majority of the time is entitled to receive child support from the other parent. When the parents share custody equally, generally the party who makes more money owes child support to the other parent in order to ensure a more consistent standard of living for the minor children in each parent’s household. In Missouri, the Supreme Court has adopted a [...]

2019-10-10T16:27:35+00:00September 9th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Relocation of a Minor Child under Missouri Law

Once the Court has entered a custody order in a prior divorce or other custody action, neither party can relocate with the minor child without notifying the other parent at least 60 days in advance of the relocation. The written notice must be sent via certified mail and must include the following information: The intended new residence with the specific address and mailing address. If the address is not known, the city the parent intends to relocate to; The home telephone number of the new residence, if known; Statement of specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child; [...]

2019-10-10T16:28:00+00:00August 20th, 2019|Categories: Child Custody|

Maintenance (Alimony) in Missouri

In an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, the Court may grant maintenance (also commonly known as alimony or spousal support) to either spouse in order to assist that spouse in meeting his or her living expenses. The Court can only grant maintenance if it first finds that the spouse seeking maintenance is unable to meet his or her own reasonable needs, either through property or appropriate employment. If the spouse seeking maintenance meets this threshold, the Court then considers a list of factors, including the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, the comparative earning capacity [...]

2019-10-10T16:28:23+00:00July 8th, 2019|Categories: Spousal Maintenance|

A fight over the house might not be worth it

Lots of married couples in the Kansas City area from all walks of life own a house in common. Many times, these houses are not only an important financial investment but also a place associated with lots of memories and strong emotions. For these and other reasons, who gets to keep the martial residence is often a topic of contention in a divorce or legal separation on either side of the Missouri River. Some people may even go in to the property division process determined to do whatever they legally can to remain in the marital home and become sole owner [...]

2019-03-15T16:45:21+00:00November 16th, 2018|Categories: Property Division|

Tax changes to spousal maintenance coming very soon

As this blog has discussed on a previous occasion, courts in Missouri can and often will order one spouse to pay another periodic sums in order to balance out the relative economic earning power of a couple who is coming out of a divorce or permanent separation. These spousal maintenance payments, also commonly referred to as alimony, get decided based on a number of factors. Sometimes, a Kansas City resident may wish to agree to pay alimony as part of a negotiation in exchange for some other benefits. At other times, the opposite is true, and someone who is otherwise likely [...]

2019-03-15T16:45:03+00:00November 2nd, 2018|Categories: Spousal Maintenance|

Legal separation in Missouri

Like other states, Missouri has a process called legal separation. In essence, a legal separation allows a married couple to live apart while being protected by a state court via order for property division, child custody and support and the like. At the same time, the couple remains legally married. Legal separation has been described as a middle ground for those who feel the need to maintain separate households, sometimes for very compelling reasons like domestic violence, yet they wish to remain married for religious or moral reasons. The process does not end a couple's marriage, yet it goes a [...]

2019-03-15T16:44:18+00:00October 18th, 2018|Categories: Divorce|
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