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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|

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

A common question clients ask when beginning a divorce is, “How long is this going to take?” While there is a range of possibilities and no definitive timeline for all divorces, there are some factors that will have a definite impact on the timeline. Contested or Uncontested Divorce When spouses have reached an agreement on the substantive aspects of their divorce, they will likely not need much intervention from their attorneys, the court, or outside parties to aid in negotiation. It is much quicker to memorialize an agreement and process it through the Court than to have to negotiate [...]

2023-08-01T16:08:31+00:00August 1st, 2023|Categories: Divorce|

Child Support Modification

If you are paying or receiving child support, there may come a time when child support needs to be reevaluated and either increased or decreased. There are a few reasons a court may decide that a modification is appropriate. In Missouri, the standard for modifying child support is whether there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that renders the terms of the current order unreasonable. In Kansas, the standard is whether there has been a material change in circumstances. Kansas will also allow child support to be reevaluated every three years without the need to show [...]

2023-07-05T15:02:01+00:00July 5th, 2023|Categories: Child Support|

Talking to Your Child about Divorce

Going through a divorce or separation can be a difficult time for the entire family. Regardless of the age of your children, they will face changes, so here are some things you can do to help them move forward: Have a plan. Speak with your spouse about when and how you will discuss your divorce or separation with your children. Consider doing so on a day that allows for some family time and for your children to process the news. If it is extremely difficult for you and your spouse to agree on how to talk to your children, [...]

2023-02-08T16:36:16+00:00February 8th, 2023|Categories: Child Custody, Divorce|
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