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Belleville & Edwardsville Divorce & Family Law Blog by Stange Law Firm, PC

Prenups can help people of all wealth levels

136645656_s.jpgWhen people in Missouri decide to marry, they may worry they will spoil the excitement by asking about a prenuptial agreement. For years, these agreements were seen as solely the domain of the ultra-wealthy or Hollywood celebrities. However, as people marry later in life with business plans, children and existing careers, there are many reasons why prenups can be a good choice for almost anyone. A prenuptial agreement lays out financial understandings about how a couple would divide their assets in case of a divorce and, in some cases, in death as well. It replaces standard state law for negotiating property division.

A prenuptial agreement doesn't have to undermine a romantic partnership. Many considerations of couples getting married are quite practical, from setting up a wedding budget to changing insurance beneficiaries, and negotiating a prenup can be part of that process as well. A good prenuptial agreement that will hold up in court is not designed to protect one person against the other. Instead, it is intended to provide consideration for both parties to protect the things most important to them. In addition, finances are one of the biggest causes of later marital conflict and divorce.

Research shows fathers receive preference in child custody cases

140546003_s.jpgIt might surprise some Missouri residents that research has found, when it comes to child custody cases, even in situations where abuse is alleged, fathers are given preference over mothers. This goes against the popular belief that mothers are given preference in child custody battles.

The research, completed by a George Washington University Law School professor, shows this to be particularly true when parental alienation is claimed by the father and abuse by the mother. According to the findings, only 1 in 51 cases like this are substantiated in court. Parental alienation is the claim that one parent has worked to make their child become distant or hate their other parent.

Factors to consider before going to trial

20144915_s.jpgIt may be possible to dissolve a marriage through settlement talks alone. This can be ideal because it's typically less expensive to negotiate a divorce settlement as opposed to going to trial. It can also take less time to resolve the matter outside of court because mediation or other negotiation sessions can be scheduled when it is convenient for the participants. A trial will be scheduled for the next available date, and that could be weeks or months in the future.

Divorce trials can cost $10,000 or more after adding up court costs, legal fees and other expenses. Those who choose to go to trial will likely need to stay by their phones or computers at all times. If an attorney needs information about the case, he or she usually needs it quickly. An individual might also need to take time off to appear in court as the case proceeds.

How to make a divorce less challenging for children

39761419_s.jpgMissouri parents who get a divorce may feel as though they are struggling to do the right thing for their children. However, while divorce can be hard on children, parents can work together to make it easier for them.

Children need to feel free to maintain a normal relationship with both parents. This means being able to express both love for and frustration with one parent to the other without worrying about how that parent will react. Parents should be able to help their children navigate their relationship with the other parent and remain neutral. If possible, parents should try to spend holidays together. If they cannot do this, they should at least both try to be at events for the children that cannot be held twice. Eventually, there will be occasions such as a graduation that parents will have to attend at the same time. Children should never feel as though they have to choose between their parents.

3 ways business assets can be divided in divorce proceedings

87667987_s.jpgDivorce presents many financial concerns, but it can be especially worrying for business owners. Individuals invest more than time and money in entrepreneurial endeavors. They also put in a generous amount of blood, sweat and tears to bring their aspirations to life.

With your marriage ending, your business may feel like your center of gravity right now. The worry that you may lose control of it in the divorce may be keeping you up at night. Here is a breakdown of the most common options for dividing business assets.

Calendars as evidence of activity and expenses in divorce

25087860_s.jpgWhen parents in Missouri think about the kind of records they need to gather to prepare for a divorce, a calendar is probably not even on the list. However, a calendar can provide valuable information for parents who need to reconstruct a schedule and list of expenses associated with their children. Deep into the stressful process of divorce, it can be difficult for parents to accurately answer questions about expenses, and a calendar can help.

One thing the calendar can do is jog a parent's memory about certain expenses. For example, it can be easy to forget about the many birthday parties a child attends throughout the year and the cost of gifts for those parties. Parents may also forget about the child taking trips out of town for sports events or about trips to the doctor or therapist. A calendar can clarify all of this and can serve as evidence if parents have a dispute about costs, dates or frequency of an event. This information can be helpful in determining child support.

How divorce may affect retirement savings

91009872_s (1).jpgGoing through a divorce can be challenging. If the emotional difficulties are not enough, there are also financial issues that arise as well. Missouri residents who have been saving for retirement may wonder what will happen to these savings if they get a divorce. Here are a few basic things a person can expect.

The first consideration are the steps that were taken prior to the marriage. If a prenuptial agreement was signed, what will happen with a person's 401(k) will go by what was laid out in the agreement. If no prenuptial agreement was signed, a spouse is entitled to at least some of the 401(k).

How child support payments are determined

70448784_s (2).jpgParents in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States are generally required to provide financial support for their children. This is typically true whether they are married to each other or not. In most cases, child support amounts are determined by looking at a parent's income and expenses. A judge will also take into account the specific needs of a child when determining how much a noncustodial parent may be required to contribute.

When determining a parent's income, a court can look at a variety of payment sources such as wages, government benefits and pensions. A court may also use any money obtained in the form of a gift, prize of distribution from a trust when calculating a noncustodial parent's monthly child support obligation. If custody is split between two parents, each one may be required to make formal support payments depending on the circumstances of the custody agreement.

Potential reasons to craft a prenuptial agreement

47248951_s.jpgWhen couples in Missouri and throughout the country get married, they are granted certain rights. However, they may also be bound by state law as it relates to how property would be divided in a divorce. In may be possible to customize those rules by creating a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements may also allow one or both parties to waive their right to seek alimony if the marriage comes to an end.

Prenuptial agreements may allow individuals to retain ownership of a business or other assets that they place a high value on. The terms of such an agreement can also allow individuals to protect themselves from being responsible for a spouse's debt. In some cases, assets that are deemed separate property prior to a marriage will become marital property during the course of the relationship. For example, if a home appreciates in value, the appreciation may be considered joint property even if the house was owned before the marriage.

Rumors swirl around actor Ron Perlman's divorce

47691821_S.jpgMissouri residents who watch television or enjoy movies will likely be familiar with Ron Perlman. The 69-year-old actor has played a string of iconic characters on both the big and small screens, and he also managed to enjoy the fruits of his success while avoiding salacious tabloid gossip. However, that run came to an end recently when celebrity websites published stories about the end of Perlman's marriage and his alleged involvement with one of his costars.

The "Sons of Anarchy" star says that he separated from his wife in May 2019. The couple married in 1981 and have two adult children. Perlman's attorney says that the couple decided to end their marriage because of irreconcilable differences, but stories soon appeared describing the actor's relationship with his wife as an open marriage. Gossip columnists also imply that Perlman is divorcing because he has become romantically involved with an actress he met while filming the television drama series "StartUp".

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