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St. Louis Divorce & Family Law Blog by Stange Law Firm, PC

Addressing unique challenges presented by military divorce

50882793_s.jpgMilitary personnel going through a divorce in Missouri or another state know that there is no legal difference between the divorce process they go through and the one that civilians use. Still, there are additional factors that can impact divorce for military personnel or their spouse.

For example, the filing process may take longer if one of the divorcing parties is on active duty overseas or in a remote part of the world. Some states allow exceptions to their residency requirements for active-duty service personnel if they want to file for divorce in the state where they are stationed.

Why postnuptial agreements can be worth creating

92879647_s.jpgPostnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in that they can specify how assets are to be divided in a divorce. They can also provide clarity as to what a couple will do with their money both now and after they retire. However, as the name implies, a postnuptial agreement is one that is created after a couple gets married. In some cases, this is because there wasn't enough time to finalize a formal arrangement before a wedding took place.

Couples may also opt for a postnuptial agreement because they are trying to implement a new financial management system months or years into their marriages. If a married couple starts a business together, it can be a good idea to have a formal agreement as to what happens to the company if the relationship ends. Having an agreement in place can be even more important if the organization is going to be passed down to a son or daughter at some point.

Tips to help co-parents solve their worst conflicts

35824643_s.jpgConflicts between co-parents in Missouri are bound to arise at one point or another. However, when both parents focus on the big picture and work to do what is best for their kids, they can more easily resolve conflicts in their co-parenting relationship. Here are some tips that have helped co-parents successfully meet common challenges.

It's common for co-parents to argue about parenting time. However, both parties must remember that the plan should allow each parent to spend a reasonable amount of time with the children after the divorce. Attending school and engaging in after-school activities is not really parenting time. It is good to create a written parenting plan and make sure that it's updated on a regular basis.

Why engaged couples would benefit from prenups

88931948_s.jpgThere is a pragmatic side of engagement that couples in Missouri need to be aware of if they want to save a lot of frustration and trouble later on. If couples do not discuss how they will handle financial matters, they fail to create an expectation as to what each individual should expect out of their financial partnership.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that allows an engaged couple to come up with an arrangement that will be fair for both of them if they decide to divorce in the future. Prenuptial agreements typically lay out how assets and liabilities will be viewed, either as personal or marital property. They will include things like family trusts, inheritances and income earned from rental properties or businesses. These agreements can also include maintaining confidentiality of certain personal matters, like finances. This can protect an individual if they do not want an ex-spouse to share information with the public, family or friends.

Fergie and Josh Duhamel finalize their divorce

124533837_s.jpgMissouri residents who follow celebrity news may be aware that "Transformers" star Josh Duhamel and former Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie separated in September 2017 and filed for divorce earlier this year. Media outlets have reported that the A-list couple finalized their divorce in Los Angeles on Nov. 25. A person close to the couple told reporters that Duhamel and Fergie waited two years to make their split official because they wanted to be sure that they were doing the right thing.

According to media reports, the celebrity couple maintained an amicable relationship while living apart and worked out a co-parenting arrangement to take care of their 6-year-old son. They met in 2004 when the Black Eyed Peas appeared on Duhamel's NBC show "Las Vegas." Celebrity gossip writers say the couple decided to separate because Fergie wanted to have more children and Duhamel did not.

Effective co-parenting with a difficult ex-spouse

34798995_s.jpgAfter parents in Missouri get a divorce, they usually still must find a way to co-parent effectively if their children are minors. This can be difficult after a high-conflict divorce. It may sometimes be necessary for one parent to set boundaries and ensure that the focus stays on the best interests of the child.

Parents can refuse to allow themselves to get drawn into conflicts by observing the patterns of their interaction and how escalation happens. They also do not need to respond to every communication from the other parent. They can restrict how and when they communicate and on what topics. Some parents find it helpful to wait a while before responding or to agree that they will only answer emails but not texts. There are also apps that can manage and document all communication between divorced parents.

Understanding different kinds of domestic violence

96099994_S.jpgDomestic violence and abuse can tear apart Missouri families. There are multiple types of domestic abuse, and survivors may need help and assistance to recover from all of these forms. Of course, physical abuse is the best-known type of abuse and the most widely recognized. However, emotional, sexual, financial and psychological abuse can be devastating to a relationship as well as the mental health of the victim. The abuse itself can create a situation in which it is difficult for the victim to leave the relationship. After leaving, the victim may be at risk of further violence.

Physical abuse can include hitting, shoving, punching or choking. It can also include forced use of drugs or interference with medication. Some people may dismiss certain types of physical abuse because they did not cause severe injuries to the victim. They may justify staying in the relationship if they were shoved or slapped a few times. Still, these incidents are a form of violence that is a mark of an abusive relationship.

The length of spousal support hinges on various circumstances

40164835_S (1).jpgWhen Missouri couples divorce, it is common for there to be an order for spousal support. This is also referred to as alimony and is meant to help one former spouse to make ends meet and maintain a similar lifestyle to what they had during the marriage. For many, a common worry centers around how long the payments will be made.

There are factors that will be considered with the duration of the payments. These payments can be temporary or permanent. A key aspect will be how long the marriage lasted. In general, alimony will be awarded if one party's economic opportunities were negatively impacted by the marriage. If one spouse was a homemaker and the other earned a living, the homemaker's ability to earn on his or her own was compromised by a lack of education and work experience. If there are children, this too will be considered.

Estimating the value of a house during a divorce buyout

76352539_S.jpgFor divorcing couples in Missouri, the family home is usually a major asset. One option that couples have is to sell the home and then split the profits. Another option is for one person to continue living in the home, especially if there are children, and buy their soon-to-be ex-spouse's share.

For a buyout to occur during a divorce, the couple needs to know the value of the house. They can hire appraisers to get the current fair market value of the house. Both parties should choose an appraiser even though this will essentially double the cost. However, it is usually necessary to come to an agreement. If the appraisers offer a similar number, everyone may feel satisfied with the calculation. However, if one appraiser had a number much higher or lower than the other, a third appraiser may be brought in.

Working through the difficulties of divorce

35085005_M.jpgMost Missouri couples don't plan to get a divorce. However, almost half of all first marriages come to an end, and the ensuing period can be challenging emotionally, practically and financially. Divorce can be difficult even for spouses unhappy in their marriages over a long period of time or for those who have reached a largely amicable resolution. Many people may experience depression and other health concerns in the period surrounding their divorce. They may withdraw from family and friends and pick up unhealthy habits.

However, there are ways that people going through a divorce can take action to protect themselves and support their own resilience and recovery. One of the most important things for many people is to turn to family and friends for support. They are willing to listen to concerns and always cheer for people going through a hard time. Some people might also want to seek professional support by going to a therapist. A therapist can listen with a professional ear and help people to work through challenging emotions and intimate concerns. In some cases, people may not feel comfortable sharing everything with a friend, and a therapist's office can be a safer space.

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  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806: Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 25 Professional Park, Suite B, Maryville, Illinois 62062: Maryville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Shawnee County: 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612: Topeka Office
  • Tulsa County: 6660 S. Sheridan Road, Suite 240, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133:  Tulsa Office
  • Oklahoma County: 2601 NW Expressway, Suite 411 W, Oklahoma City, OK 73112:  Oklahoma City Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

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