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St. Louis Family Law Blog

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.

Father awarded custody after mother became violent

1577059_S.jpgFamily law situations can quickly take a turn for the worst. And while for many families this means more arguing in court and going back-and-forth between who said what, for others the tension can lead to a domestic situation.

Recently this was the case for one father who was beat up by his ex. For the time being, he now has full custody of his son and the mother has been charged with interfering with custody, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, kidnapping and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Returning from deployment is hard on military families

20386335_S.jpgMilitary deployments are tough on a family. And while many tend to think that everything is fine once the two spouses are reunited, the truth is that often couples have a hard time readjusting to each other after a deployment.

In light of the fact that military divorce rates are the highest since 1999, the U.S. Navy has started to address some of the biggest stressors on military families.

Make it an easier transition for children during divorce

14427547_s.jpgDivorce can be hard for parents and children. For the parents, this often leads to the temptation to start buying children gifts in order to cheer them up and to feel better about the divorce. And while this is a natural reaction, the truth is to a child this could look like their parent is trying to buy their feelings, which can of course do more harm than good.

Instead of buying gifts to help a child adjust to a divorce, rather parents should keep in mind a few simple tips and practice them as much as possible to have a better transition.

'Toddlers & Tiaras': Dad wants sole custody after pageant costume

14863793_S.jpgThere's one thing about allowing a child to participate in beauty pageants. But, it's quite another if the costumes being worn by the child are not age appropriate and could be viewed at as sexual in nature. For any parent, the thought that a custodial parent is exploiting their child is surely disturbing and could be enough of a reason to take that parent back to court for child custody.

This is exactly what is going on now between the mother and father of a 6-year-old girl who appeared on TLC's "Toddlers &Tiaras," which is a reality TV show highlighting the world of competitive child pageants.

On one episode, the little girl, Maddy, was competing dressed up like Dolly Parton. The outfit -- which her mother dressed her in -- came complete with a padded bra and butt pads.

Job consequences stem from domestic violence accusations

5895906_S.jpgDomestic abuse is absolutely a very real situation. The abuse can invoke continual fear and emotional trauma, which is why those who hurt others should be held accountable.

However, while there are very real situations of domestic violence that happen in Missouri -- and around the country -- there are also incidents where a person is falsely accused of domestic violence. These false accusations can leave a lasting impact on a person's life, especially when it's one parent lying in an attempt to gain child custody.

Marital statuses after military deployments could be in danger

20278989_S.jpgAs many Missouri military personnel and their families know, emotions run high when deployment orders are given. Anxiety, stress, and the overwhelming sense of 'what if?' consumes everyone involved.

For soldiers, duty to their country outweighs the duties they once had at home. Spouses, on the other hand, must endure months, sometimes even years, of constant worry and the feeling of abandonment.

Report: More children born to unmarried parents

20022389_S.jpgMore and more unmarried couples are choosing to live together. With this trend, over the past several years, there has also been an increase in the number of children born to unmarried parents.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the overall percentage of children born to non-married couples, who were cohabitating, made up 23 percent of all live births in 2006-2010 in the U.S. In 2002, births to cohabitating women made up 14 percent of total births.

Data also points to the fact that when it comes to births, unintended pregnancy is more common among unmarried women than married women.

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