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St. Louis Family Law Blog

How money helps abuse victims leave their partners

61935138_S.jpgVictims of abuse in Missouri and throughout the United States often cite an inability to get time off from work as a reason for not leaving their abusers. When a person chooses to leave a relationship, they need time to meet with attorneys or look for an apartment. They generally need time to engage in the process of recovering both physically and emotionally.

While countries like New Zealand offer paid leave for victims of domestic abuse, that typically isn't the case in the United States. Only eight states and six other cities have any policy that allows for workers to take time off to leave an abusive relationship. According to a survey done in 2017, 42 percent of American employers don't offer paid leave for victims of domestic abuse. If a company lacks such a policy, employees can be vulnerable to termination with little recourse if that happens.

Splitting finances can be difficult in divorces

38739713_S.jpgFinances are a big concern for Missouri couples going through a divorce. These spouses may wonder what they'll have left after the property division process and if one income will be enough to support the lifestyle to which they are accustomed as a couple.

When it comes to financial issues, a divorcing person should focus on four areas: assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Assets can include bank accounts, stocks/bonds and retirement accounts. Tax implications of any asset being divided should also be taken into account. What looks fair on paper to both spouses may be unfavorable to one when it comes to paying taxes.

Many different types of child support cases exist

Parents in Missouri who have to deal with child support payments may sometimes get confused about the issue. In fact, there are multiple kinds of child support cases. Therefore, parents should understand the importance of knowing what type of case they have.

Child support cases that are designated as IV-D are cases in which the custodial parents receive help from the Office of Child Support Enforcement to determine paternity, locate the non-custodial parents or create and implement child support orders. In IV-A cases, the public assistance the custodial parents receive is from the state, which will bring the cases to the attention of the Office of Child Support Enforcement to try to obtain payments from the non-custodial parent directly in order to reduce costs. In IV-E cases, which are also referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, the children are under the care of someone other than their parents. Non-IV-D cases are those in which child support is handled privately.

Women often face surprises after divorce

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Missouri wives who are interested in getting a divorce may be interested to learn about a survey of women in the same boat. Out of 1,785 women who were polled, 46 percent stated that getting a divorce resulted in unpleasant financial surprises.

The participants in the survey included women who were about to get divorced, in the middle of the divorce process and already divorced. Women who were 55 years old or older made up 22 percent of the participants; the majority of these women were already divorced.

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.

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
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