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St. Louis Family Law Blog

Modifying a child support order after changing jobs

46803250_S.jpgFor Missouri parents who are required to pay child support, the laws can be complex and difficult to understand. If a non-custodial parent has a change in their financial situation, such as a new job, they may have to pay more or be allowed to pay less child support.

If a non-custodial parent changes jobs and is paid less, they will have to petition the court to get the child support order changed. Before the modification request is approved, however, the court will consider a variety of factors to determine if the change in the amount of child support is warranted. For example, the non-custodial parent must have a substantial change in circumstances before the modification is approved. Two parents can also make an agreement out of court as long as the new amount of support is within the state's child support guidelines.

Mary J. Blige ordered to pay spousal support despite prenup

54898560_S.jpgMissouri residents likely know Mary J. Bilge best for her genre-defining rhythm and blues albums including the Grammy Award-winning 'The Breakthrough", but they may not know that the 46-year-old singer, songwriter and actress is currently mired in a contentious divorce. Bilge filed for divorce in July 2016 after more than a decade of marriage, and celebrity gossip websites have speculated that it was her husband's philandering that prompted her to take legal action.

Bilge and her husband Martin Isaacs entered into a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle in 2003, and Bilge claims that the document includes a provision that waives any right toalimony. However, this did not prevent a judge ordering Bilge to pay Isaacs $30,000 per month in temporary support. The multi-platinum performer was also ordered to pay Isaacs' legal fees.

How celebrity couples get divorced

22393654_S.jpgFor many Missouri couples going through divorce, the process can be very complex and time-consuming. As such, they may wonder how celebrity couples manage to go through their own divorces while continuing to work and staying in the spotlight.

Celebrity couples getting ready to divorce have several strategies and tricks that they use to smooth out the separation process. For example, many stars agree on a divorce settlement before they ever file the paperwork. This helps stifle excessive media coverage over the details. Because the divorce settlement has already been agreed upon, the former couple can choose when exactly they file. Some file on Friday afternoon, which also lessens the amount of media attention. Others file right before major holidays when people are more likely to be away from televisions and computers.

Guiding children through divorce

29272423_S.jpgAs Missouri parents whose marriages are ending know, one of the more complicated aspects of a divorce is helping their children through the process. Even before the parents start custody and support negotiations, there are things they can do to support their children as they enter this new stage in their family life.

While parents might think that keeping everything from the children is a good idea, being honest with them about the divorce is important. To do this, parents should still keep their children's ages and maturity level in mind, and they should avoid certain details, but they should let their children know what is going on before they can come up with their own conclusions, which might be erroneous. Additionally, during the process, parents should listen to their children and their concerns and thoughts, and offer them comfort, assuring them that even though the parents are getting divorced, they will remain a family and they will remain their parents.

Political arguments are affecting couples

12556985_S.jpgSome Missouri couples might be arguing more than ever, but it could be over a fairly new conflict according to a study by the polling firm Wakefield Research. The firm conducted a survey of 1,000 people in April and found that 24 percent of couples said they were having more fights than ever before about politics since the election of President Trump.

One divorce attorney in New York with 35 years of experience says she is seeing an unprecedented number of marriages ending because of politics. The survey appeared to support this anecdote, reporting that more than one-fifth of people said they knew a couple whose relationship was directly and negatively affected by the 2016 presidential election.

Supreme Court rules in military divorce benefits case

46176271_S.jpgBased on a Supreme Court ruling on May 15, an ex-spouse of a Missouri veteran might have his or her share of that veteran's retirement pay cut if that veteran's retirement pay is reduced because of a waiver to receive disability benefits. In the case that reached the nation's highest court, a couple divorced in 1991 and agreed that the wife would receive half of the husband's retirement benefits. After the man's retirement in 1992, they both collected retirement pay.

In 2005, the Department of Veteran Affairs approved a claim from the man dealing with a degenerative joint disease in his shoulder that he said was a result of his military service. He began receiving monthly disability payments from the VA, but this meant his retirement pay was reduced by an equal amount. Therefore, both the man and his former spouse began receiving $127 less each month. In 2013, the woman filed a motion to try and get the money reinstated. Both the family court and the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that under state law, her ex-husband's disability payments should not deprive her of the full amount of the retirement pay that she was due.

Unmarried couples and property division

45139321_S.jpgIt is fairly common in Missouri for couples to be involved in lengthy relationships without getting married. When people have been living together for extended periods, they might wonder how their property will be handled if they want to end their relationships.

The property that people acquire while they are living together is considered to be separate property. If you are wanting to end your relationship with your domestic partner, you'll need to figure out how to divide the property that the two of you have acquired. It may be especially difficult for assets that you have acquired jointly and that you both have interests in.

Incarceration and the custodial parent

21473422_S.jpgMissouri custodial parents who are arrested might wonder what will become of their child. If they are going to go to jail, the child may be placed with the other parent or another family member. Child social services may be involved in the process.

Courts base their decision about which parent gets custody on what is in the best interests of the child, and they will apply the same set of criteria when they decide who to place the children with if the custodial parent can no longer care for them. This includes considering who is best able to care for the child financially and physically.

7 ways to de-stress during divorce

52507605_S.jpgIn our last post, we discussed various elements of the legal system that could be used to your advantage when it comes to divorce and managing the stress that comes with navigating the legal process.

In this post, we are going to look at some helpful things you can do to take care of yourself and manage your stress outside of the legal system. These tips can help you prioritize your well-being and minimize the toll that divorce can take on your health.

Prenuptial agreements and inheritances

38197388_S.jpgMissouri parents who want to safeguard their adult children's inheritance for them should begin by having open conversations with them about their options. This can include prenuptial agreements.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that a couple completes before they get married and that classifies assets as either marital or separately owned if the marriage ends. It is a tool that can preserve a child's inheritance if he or she were to divorce. However, it requires that both parties enter the agreement voluntarily and that they both offer full financial disclosure.

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