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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

How divorce affects older adults

According to research, children of divorced parents are more likely themselves to get divorced, with daughters of divorced parents having a 60 percent higher chance and sons 35 percent more likely. There are other factors that also make a divorce more likely. People in second marriages and marriages of only a few years have a higher risk than those in first marriages or those who have been married for a long time. However, longevity is no guarantee of a lasting marriage, and couples 50 and older in Missouri and throughout the country are more likely to divorce than the past.

Since 1990, the divorce rate has tripled for people 65 and over and doubled for those 50 and older. Despite theories that this could be linked to major life changes such as children moving out or retirement, studies show there is no correlation with these events. Instead, it has been found that older adults divorce when their marriages are no longer fulfilling to them.

What happens during child custody proceedings

35161724_S.jpgParents in Missouri who must go through child custody proceedings might wonder what to expect. The courtroom for a child custody hearing is usually smaller than other types of courtrooms, and fewer people will be present. It is important for parents to dress appropriately for a court appearance.

Parents should also prepare for questions such as what kind of living arrangements are in place for the child and what kind of emotional support the parent can offer. An attorney can help a parent with this preparation. A judge makes the decision about child custody based on the best interests of the child, so there may be additional questions related to the child's well-being. For example, a judge may ask a working parent about child care arrangements when the child is not in school or may ask about sleeping arrangements if the parent lives in a small apartment.

Rise in income for Britney Spears prompts child support dispute

92716077_S.jpgBritney Spears is widely recognized as a pop star by music fans throughout Missouri and the rest of America. Her recent headlining show in Las Vegas has only added to her fortunes. Court documents arising from her current child support dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline show that her assets total over $56.5 million. Because Spears' income has increased since they originally negotiated a child support agreement, Federline has petitioned the court to increase her support payments.

The former spouses have two sons, ages 12 and 11. Spears already pays their father $20,000 per month, and the parents share custody. According to court filings, Federline needs more money because expenses for the boys have increased now that they are older. He also said that the boys have a substantially different lifestyle when they are with him compared to their mother's household. Federline's income only amounts to about $3,000 a month. His lawyer requested an increase to $60,000 every month.

Student loan debt can contribute to divorce

46737804_S.jpgMany people in Missouri are struggling under the weight of student loan debt, which has grown dramatically in the past decade. On average, student loan borrowers have $34,144 in debt. The average debt for graduates of the class of 2017 is even higher at $39,400. In the past 10 years, the percentage of borrowers who owe more than $50,000 has gone up 300 percent. Just as student debt can have a significant impact on life decisions, it can also have a major effect on marital relationships.

A number of millennials have decided to postpone major life plans like getting married or buying a home because of concerns about debt. For those who do decide to get married, the psychological stress and pressure associated with student loan debt can be devastating to a relationship and lead to divorce. Concerns about the financial future can be expressed with anger or anxiety, and that stress can damage the marital bond and romantic connection. Because financial issues can already be one of the most serious problems a marriage can face, significant student loan debt only exacerbates these concerns.

Lawyers report rise in younger people getting prenups

76765603_S.jpgGetting a prenuptial agreement may be more important for Missouri millennials who are getting married than in previous generations. Couples in general have been getting prenups at a higher rate than in the past, but according to the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been an increase in millennials doing so.

With the average age of marriage rising for both women and men, millennials are going into marriage with more assets than their parents may have had. They may want to protect real estate, investments and retirement funds, and a prenup may help them do that. Others may be struggling with debt. In 2017, college graduates' average student loan debt was more than $38,000. Millennials may have other debt as well, and their spouses-to-be might be concerned about having to pay back some of those debts in case of a divorce. They may see a prenup as a solution.

Finances and the cause of divorce

34311947_S.jpgCouples in Missouri who decide to get a divorce have varying reasons for doing so. However, a common factor that often arises in divorce is money. According to some studies, money issues are the main reason that many couples decide to go their separate ways.

People who decide to get a divorce may find that there is an additional toll the process can have on their finances. Couples who are considering getting a divorce due to problems with money may benefit from learning about the most frequently occurring money problems and what may be done to solve them.

Estate planning issues during a divorce

People in Missouri should know that when they decide to divorce, there is a range of legal and financial implications that can come with the end of a marriage. In addition, it can be important for individuals seeking a divorce to update their estate planning documents as soon as possible. While some changes cannot be made until a divorce is finalized, others can be made even while the divorce is pending. Making these changes as soon as possible can be important for protecting a person and his or her beneficiaries and heirs and preventing unwanted outcomes, especially if there is a risk that someone could become incapacitated or even pass away while the divorce is pending.

Under the law, certain types of documents cannot be changed until the divorce is finalized. At the same time, these are some of the most critical documents to change immediately once it is possible. These important provisions include the beneficiary designations on pensions, life insurance, retirement funds and other key financial accounts.

Court rules that children of divorce need both parents

3575093_S.jpgMissouri couples who are going through divorce proceedings may have special concerns if children are involved. A recent court ruling in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marital split has brought to light how courts often look at child custody and visitation.

The couple separated and eventually divorced due to allegations of child abuse raised by Jolie against Pitt in 2016. Pitt was later cleared of the accusations.

The number of women paying alimony is rising

30807004_S.jpgHistorically, upon dissolution of a marriage, the husband was far more likely to be required to pay child support or alimony. However, times are changing across Missouri and the rest of the United States. Due to shifting roles within a family, courts are beginning to order support paid by the wife to the husband.

According to a recent study, 45 percent of all family law attorneys noticed an increase in women being ordered to pay alimony over the past three years. The study, authored by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, showed that 54 percent of the attorneys surveyed also noticed an increase in mothers paying child support.

Income and the chances of divorce

4869604_S.jpgThere are certain factors that may make Missouri residents more likely to get a divorce. One of these factors includes situations in which women begin earning more than their husbands after having entered the marriage earning less or not working. According to a study conducted by Swedish researchers, couples in this situation have a higher chance of getting divorced.

One of the reasons for the higher likelihood of a divorce when women begin earning more than their husbands is that it can be difficult for some men to step out of traditional gender roles. This is particularly truer for couples that maintained conventional gender roles in the early part of their marriage than for those who have a gender-equal union.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
115 Lincoln Place Ct.,
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Belleville, Illinois 62221

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