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St. Louis Family Law Blog

Many Missouri families plan separation for after the holidays

16330433_s.jpgMany families already know that this will be their last holiday season all living together under the same roof. In many cases, at least one spouse plans on a separation in the near future. Typically, these spouses tend to wait until once the holidays have passed to start to take steps to end the marriage.

Knowing a separation, and in many cases the start of a divorce, is less than a month away can be hard for many spouses, especially those who have children. However, there are specific things parents can do now to ensure a smoother transition and to better protect finances in the future.

Is infidelity a reason for military divorces?

9965206_s.jpgMilitary families face unique pressures. There's frequent moving, long deployments and parental strains affecting the civilian spouse. However, it seems that while many might believe infidelity is an issue among military families, it turns out cheating is no more prevalent among military families than it is civilian families.

Recently, these stressors -- and the topic of infidelity -- were highlighted when news of Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair broke. Many wondered if cheating was a typical concern and frequent reason for divorce among military families.

Economic factors play a role in divorce decisions

9480687_S.jpgThe economy has an impact not only on our wallets, but also sometimes on our decision to stay in our marriages. In fact, a recent study from Marquette University found that divorce rates actually decreased in the early years of the recession. However, now as the economy has started to rebound, there has been an increase in the divorce rate.

So just why is this?

Divorce on the rise among older Americans

10852474_s.jpgWe all most likely know someone who decided to get a divorce after the age of 50. It could have been due to any number of reasons, including infidelity, boredom with the relationship, or just wanting to get more out of life. Whatever the cause, it seems to be a trend as there has been an increase in divorce among baby boomers in the last 20 years.

In a paper titled, "The Gray Divorce Revolution," Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin reported a divorce rate increase among older Americans. Using U.S. Census data, it was found the divorce rate among this demographic doubled between 1990 and 2010. This rate also increased while the overall divorce rate in the country remained relatively flat, even slightly decreasing at some point.

Unmarried couples need to protect assets and parental rights

15488079_s.jpgAs we've mentioned in the past, more and more couples are choosing to live together and have children without first getting married. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with these decisions. However, those unmarried parents and couples should think about a few things ahead of time in order to protect future finances and parental rights.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of unmarried couples rose by 74 percent between the years of 2000 and 2009. In fact, now there are at least 6.7 million couples who are together, yet not legally married.

Divorced parents can survive the holidays

11843713_s.jpgHalloween, which many consider the start of the holiday season, is just days away. For parents who went through a divorce in the past year, this can be a tough time, especially if for the first time in years each is forced to not spend the holiday with their kids.

But fear not. There are plenty of divorced parents in Missouri who are able to not only survive the holidays, they are able to do it while spending time with their children and building new memories.

Missouri division dedicated to child support matters

19467641_S.jpgIn Missouri, officials work hard to track down and arrest those parents who owe money for child support. In fact, there's an entire division -- the Missouri Division of Child Support Enforcement -- that works on behalf of custodial parents who have not been getting their court-ordered child support. This division also works with both divorced and single unmarried parents.

When it comes to owing child support, famed record producer Scott Storch found out firsthand the possible implications of not making payments. The producer, who is credited with crafting hits for Chris Brown and 50 Cent, had a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to show up for a court hearing related to the roughly $28,300 he owes in child support.

Don't let a child custody dispute turn into a domestic situation

13148991_s.jpgWhen it comes to child custody matters, tempers can easily flare between parents. In some cases, these tempers can even flare to the point of a domestic situation, which can only further complicate issues regarding child custody and visitation. This is why police warn for parents to get out of a situation before it gets physical. Rather, deal with any disagreements regarding a parenting plan through the court system.

According to police, calls related to child custody and domestic assaults are more common on the weekends when parents are dropping off and picking up children. Many times these issues are related to visitation and not agreeing with the parenting plan that has already been set forth.

Increase in children born to unmarried parents

4042142_s.jpgThe times are certainly changing as the average rate for marriage increases, the divorce rate also increases, and more unmarried couples have children.

According to "Household Change in the United States," which is an analysis based on Current Population Survey data; the once predominant norm of getting married and having children is starting to decrease. In fact, back in 1960 the household rate for couples with children reached 44 percent. In 2010 this same demographic made up just 20 percent of households.

Trend: Wives paying maintenance to ex-husbands

10287815_S.jpgIn Missouri, spousal support -- also commonly known as alimony -- is something that can be permanent. What this means is that unless there is a death, remarriage or a substantial change to circumstance, one ex-spouse could find themselves making payments to their ex for years and years.

Over the past few years, there has also been a shift in just who is paying alimony. As more and more women work, many are also climbing the corporate ladder and bringing home more money than their husbands. This in turn can mean an ex-wife is paying her ex-husband alimony. Some refer to this as "manimony" or "malimony," but the truth is that it's exactly the same as the spousal support men pay to women. There's just a shift now in who is paying and who is receiving.

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