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St. Louis Family Law Blog

Divorcing parents can make use of creative schedules

When 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

Fighting 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

Missouri 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

Among 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

Fathers 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.

Getting a divorce and avoiding revenge

Divorce can be such a painful experience that many unhappy exes in Missouri might feel like getting revenge on a former spouse. However, there are a number of reasons why this is likely to backfire. For starters, a divorce that's dragged out by one person will be costly to both.

Another reason to avoid seeking revenge is the effect it has on children. Some angry parents might feel that the children need to know what kind of a person their other parent is. However, children should be able to build a relationship with both parents and come to their own conclusions. Furthermore, if one parent tries to turn children against another parent, the result could be animosity in the opposite direction.

Reasons to stay married and when it's time to get divorced

42846561_S.jpgWhen some Missouri parents are considering divorce, they may question whether splitting up will have a major impact on the children. Depending on a family's situation, there may be reasons to stay married until the children are older. There also may be reasons to go through with the divorce.

Some parents may wish to stay together if there is still hope that the marriage can be repaired. While this often requires hard work and dedication, there are cases when couples have been able to work through the problems. Some spouses are simply better together than apart even if there is no longer any love there. Other parents chose to stay together because they understand the long-term effects of a divorce on children.

Keeping assets separate without a prenuptial agreement

37541052_S.jpgPrenuptial agreements may be one way for couples in Missouri and throughout the country to protect their finances. However, it may not be the only option to protect funds or other property brought into a marriage. While talking about asset protection may not sound romantic, it can serve a variety of purposes. For instance, it may allow an individual to learn more about his or her partner's current financial situation and long-term outlook.

This may be important if a future spouse has debt of any kind. By keeping personal assets separate, creditors may not be able to come after them if a spouse doesn't pay a debt balance in a timely manner. Therefore, keeping personal assets separate may be ideal even if the marriage is successful. One way to keep personal funds separate from marital funds is to keep them in separate accounts.

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