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St. Louis Family Law Blog

Designing a plan to raise children after divorce

30116092_S.jpgMissouri parents who are getting divorced need to come up with a plan for raising their children based on custody and visitation agreements. While designing such a plan can have its challenges, there are some factors to consider that might help parents through the process.

To begin with, parents should imagine how their kids feel about the changes. Children will gain some things and lose others due to this new reality. With this in mind, parents can then figure out the logistics of life post-divorce -- where each parent will live, where the kids will go to school and how transportation will work. As part of this, parents must also consider their children's schedules at school and extra-curricular activities. If the children are old enough, parents might consider including them in this decision-making process. If any of the children have special needs, the plan needs to consider what the best environment is for the child and their needs.

Divorce and retirement

64799483_S.jpgMinnesota residents who get a divorce should be aware that the process can have a negative impact on their finances. Individuals who have been divorced have a higher chance of depleting their assets during retirement than people who have not been divorced. According to a study conducted by the Center for Retirement Research, households that have not undergone a divorce have a net financial wealth 30 percent higher than similar households that have been through a divorce.

The results of the study also indicate that going through a divorce gives an individual a 5 percent higher risk of running out of assets during retirement. However, this does not apply to single women.

Why older people are ending their marriages

35562415_S (1).jpgA gray divorce is one that occurs when a person is 50 or older. The rate of gray divorce in St. Louis and throughout the country is increasing even as divorce rates among other age groups is stabilizing. However, there are many different reasons that could explain this phenomenon. First, the number of people who are 50 and older is larger now than it was in 1990, and that number is projected to grow in the future.

A woman's life expectancy has increased since 1950 from 71.1 to 81.1 years. For men, their life expectancy has increased from 65.6 years to 76.1 years, and this has also increased the chances of divorcing later in life. However, there are also more typical reasons why older couples get divorced. For instance, one woman found a receipt for a fantasy suite at a hotel that she had not stayed at. She knew the marriage was over at that point.

Child support creates a divide for many custodial parents

31019964_S.jpgThe child support paid out to single parents may not be sufficient depending on the audience questioned. The U.S. Census Bureau provided a snapshot of child support statistics in a report called "Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support." Single parents in Missouri may be divided on the fairness of child support payments required of them.

The report states that there are 13.4 million single parents living in the United States. Approximately 48.7 percent of single parents have a child support agreement in place. Of all the child support agreements in place, only 10 percent of them have an informal agreement; 48 percent of single parents have a formal agreement in place. An estimated 22 percent of custodial parents require some sort of government assistance in enforcing a policy.

Tips for entrepreneurs in avoiding divorce

38434752_S.jpgThere are a number of elements in being an entrepreneur that could put a strain on a marriage. However, if entrepreneurs and their spouses in Missouri are aware of these dangers, it might be possible to avoid them.

One issue is that entrepreneurs, who have risk-taking personalities, often marry people who are more cautious. This results in situations in which the more cautious person may have to endure many stressful events related to the fallout from debt and efforts to raise more money. Time management can also be an issue. Building up a new company can take an enormous amount of time, and the entrepreneur might not have enough time to do that and maintain a relationship.

Divorcing parents can make use of creative schedules

40593588_S.jpgWhen Missouri parents divorce, figuring out a parenting plan can be both emotionally painful and logistically difficult. Each parent is often accustomed to having as much time as possible with their children, and when the marriage comes to an end, it can be complex to schedule a plan in which time with the children is shared between the parents' homes. Creating a child custody or visitation schedule can be further complicated by parents' work schedules, especially when both are engaged in full-time employment.

While there are a number of child custody options or visitation schedules that are particularly common after parents divorce, each family can make the right decision for their unique situation. Whether the divorcing parents have an amicable or more contentious relationship, it is important for them to work together with their family law attorneys to develop a parenting plan that fits with both parents' work schedules and fosters a close relationship with the children.

Study finds housework disputes can end marriages

17798078_S.jpgFighting over housework could be the trigger for a divorce for some Missouri couples. Harvard Business School did a study that found that a quarter of divorced couples said housework disagreements were the main reason they split up. The study also found that if couples hired a cleaning service, they were more likely to stay together.

In general, having more disposable income and time, referred to as "time affluence" in a 2008 study, increases people's general well-being. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found in a 2017 study that spending $100 to $200 monthly on what it called "outsourcing tasks," such as grocery delivery or laundry, also leads to happier marriages. Unfortunately, these are all luxuries that many couples cannot afford.

Domestic violence and gun control laws

18129316_S.jpgMissouri residents who are in favor of more stringent gun restrictions for people who have a history of committing acts of domestic violence may soon see the passage of state regulations that are enforceable and more uniform. The shooting at a high school in Florida may be the impetus needed to boost the passage of the bills.

According to a non-profit organization that advocates for gun control and has spearheaded gun and domestic violence legislation in nearly 24 states since 2013, research has shown that 54 percent of mass shooters had committed family or domestic abuse. The organization also reports that if a gun is present, the chance of death for an abused partner increases by five times.

Dividing retirement funds can be a serious divorce matter

5136500_S.jpgAmong the most valuable assets that a Missouri couple may share are their retirement funds. In many cases, both parties are depending on these funds for their financial futures. This is one major reason why 62 percent of divorce attorneys surveyed in 2016 said that retirement accounts were the most contentious issue for their clients.

The financial aspects of divorce can often be even more jarring than the emotional challenges. In addition, property division during divorce can often be complicated. This is certainly true when dividing retirement funds as these accounts are subject to a number of specific legal and financial regulations. Failing to adhere precisely to the rules may cost both parties substantial sums in taxes, penalties and unfair allocations.

Child custody tips for fathers

46573734_S.jpgFathers in Missouri who are seeking custody of their children may feel that they are at a disadvantage. Traditionally, child custody is awarded to mothers. However, there are steps a father can take to increase the likelihood that he will be awarded custody.

First, a father should document as much as possible. He should keep a log of all the time he spends with his child even if the child is living with the mother during the divorce. Furthermore, a father should write down whatever he spends on the child. He should also be prepared to answer any questions a judge has about his relationship with the child and demonstrate the strength of that relationship.

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