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St. Louis Family Law Blog

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.

Getting a divorce and avoiding revenge

29765997_S.jpgDivorce 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.

Common reason for divorce

11065830_S.jpgThere may be a number of reasons why the marriages of Missouri couples break down and end in divorce. One of those reasons is infidelity. This may be physical or just emotional, and it may happen once or multiple times before the marriage ends. Money problems are another reason. Poverty or a wife making more money than her husband are both examples of financial issues that can cause stress in a marriage.

Various types of addictions may also bring an end to a marriage as can situations such as the death of a child or the diagnosis of a serious illness. Some couples are also simply incompatible. They might disagree on where to live or the career path each wants to take. Ultimately, the couple may end up with irreconcilable differences meaning that they are unable to resolve their problems.

Unmarried couples and child custody rights

19263047_S.jpgA parent in Missouri or anywhere else in America has the right to seek child custody or visitation rights. This is true whether the child's parents were married at the time of birth. The law generally believes that a child benefits most when both parents are in their life unless there is evidence that proves otherwise in a given case.

For fathers, the first step in the process is to establish paternity of a child. This may be done simply by filling out a form either before or after the child is born. However, it may be necessary to have a DNA test done in the event that paternity is disputed. If paternity is established, child custody or visitation agreements may be negotiated by the parents themselves. This is generally referred to as a parenting plan.

Miguel Cabrera sued in child support case

9755724_S.jpgMissouri residents are likely aware of who Miguel Cabrera is for what he does on the baseball field. A woman has filed a lawsuit against him based on something he did in his personal life. According to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court in Florida, Cabrera reduced child support payments in 2017 for two children he supposedly fathered with her. He allegedly fathered the first child in 2013 and the second in 2015.

Cabrera had been making child support payments to the women since 2013. Under Florida law, he would be required to pay the mother 7.5 percent of his salary based on the facts that he has two children and makes more than $10,000 a year. This past year, he made $30 million playing for the Tigers. Therefore, he would owe $2.25 million to the mother of his children.

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