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St. Louis Family Law Blog

Should sperm donor be responsible for child support?

7956043_S.jpgA 46-year-old man, who answered an online ad by a couple searching for a sperm donor, has found himself in a rather unusual spot as the state's authorities are now asking him to pay child support and for any state assistance the mother of the child already received. However, the man claims he was nothing more than a sperm donor and that the three had a written agreement stating he was not financially responsible for the child in any kind of way.

Looking at what happened, it was back in 2009 when the man answered an online advertisement. A lesbian couple was searching for a sperm donor. The three met and the man signed an agreement that he would have no responsibilities, financial or otherwise.

Not just the holidays: Domestic violence a problem all year long

15628283_s.jpgPeople tend to think there are more domestic violence issues around the holidays. However, one news station recently learned it's a problem all year round and that there are not necessarily spikes around the holidays.

One domestic violence counselor said the phones ring for help all year round. In her experience, there is not an increase around the holidays. Rather, there's an increase when there are situations where alcohol, drugs and social expectations are involved. Sure, this could be hosting the Christmas dinner, but it can also be any situation where people are gathering and drinking or using drugs.

Missouri parents supporting adult children going through divorce

15725929_s.jpgWhen a husband and wife decide to file for divorce, the decision affects everyone in their immediate circle. Typically, when we talk about separation or divorce we tend to focus on how it will affect children. And while this is still a concern for many, it's important to also address the fact that many adult children end up moving back in with their own parents following a divorce.

For the parent of an adult child who is going through a divorce, this can be an extremely fragile time. Quite often the one going through the divorce cannot afford their own place while reaching a divorce settlement -- and especially when children are involved -- need a nurturing place to stay. However, for the parents this can also be a tough time, especially if the divorce is not something that the parents agree with.

Dennis Rodman could end up jailed if he doesn't pay child support

14582732_s.jpgFlamboyant retired NBA player Dennis Rodman was recently ordered to pay his ex-wife half a million dollars in owed child support. If he does not pay, the 51-year-old will most likely end up in jail.

In addition to having to pay the child support, with the threat of jail hanging over his shoulders, Rodman was also sentenced to informal probation.

Relationship with in-laws has effect on Missouri marriages

20993513_s.jpgIt is no secret that many do not always get along with their in-laws. Many times, a mother-in-law is accused of being too prying, while a husband is accused of being too distant when it comes to his wife's parents. And while naturally the relationships with in-laws can become quite stressful, it also turns out that these relationships may have an impact on a couple's risk for divorce.

The study followed 373 couples over a 26 year time period, starting in their first year of marriage in 1986. From this study it was found that in marriages where the wife has a close relationship with in-laws, there couple's risk of divorce increases by 20 percent. However, in cases where the husband has a close relationship with in-laws, the couple's risk for divorce decreases by 20 percent.

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.

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