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Belleville and Edwardsville Divorce Law Blog

Child custody orders aren't set in stone

118204179_S.jpgMissouri residents may be able to have a child custody order modified if events warrant a change being made. Generally speaking, a change will be made if a parent is putting the child's safety in danger. The same could be true if the child doesn't want to spend time with the parent or if a parent is ignoring the terms of the order. If a parent relocates or dies, it may also be necessary to make changes to a child custody arrangement.

If there is reason to believe that a child is in danger, a court will have to determine if the danger is immediate. A court will also likely want to determine if the child is in danger of abuse or if another member of the household is the direct target. If a parent relocates, a judge will likely want to know why the move is taking place and if it is still possible to operate under the terms of the current agreement.

Dividing cryptocurrencies during divorce is complicated

80309328_S.jpgMissouri residents who have gone through the divorce process know that few business interactions can be as potentially explosive as dividing up assets after a divorce. Time and time again, there are news reports of wealthy or famous individuals who find themselves in protracted divorce cases.

Some assets adding a new wrinkle to divorce proceedings are cryptocurrencies. Family law attorneys are just starting to deal with divorces where high-value cryptocurrency investments need to be found and divided among the divorcing parties.

How to resolve issues about child support payments

112464301_S.jpgNoncustodial parents in Missouri are generally obligated to provide support for their children. However, this may become difficult for those who don't have the means to do so financially. The first step a parent should take is to contact the Child Support Enforcement Office in the appropriate state. This will alert the office to the fact that an individual's circumstances may have changed. In some cases, this may allow a parent to have a support order modified.

There are several ways in which a parent's circumstances could have changed. For instance, they might have experienced a loss in income or a medical issue. In some cases, a child may become more expensive to raise as they get older. It is important for parents to go to court or through other formal channels in an effort to resolve a problem paying child support.

Reality TV star fighting for child support payments from ex

63637666_S.jpgMissouri reality TV fans might be interested in the ongoing child custody battle between "Rehab Addict" star Nicole Curtis and her ex-boyfriend. The former couple came to a custody agreement over their 3-year-old son in October 2018, but they are still apparently battling over unpaid child support payments.

According to court documents filed by the State of Michigan on Jan. 16, the father has been ordered to attend a hearing regarding $6,059.50 in late child support payments. If he is unable to provide the judge with an acceptable explanation for why he has fallen behind on the payments, he could be held in contempt of court. Furthermore, if he fails to show up for the hearing, a warrant could be issued for his arrest.

Adrian Pasdar seeks $60,000 a month from Natalie Maines

TV and music fans in Missouri may be interested to learn that actor Adrian Pasdar is seeking over $60,000 a month in child support and spousal support from his estranged wife, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines. The couple split up in 2017 after 17 years of marriage.

On Jan. 30, news outlets obtained court documents that show Pasdar, age 53, wants $44,076 per month for spousal support and an additional $16,427 in child support for the couple's two sons, ages 14 and 17. On top of that, the former "Heroes" star is asking that Maines, age 44, pay his attorney fees, which are currently around $350,000.

The benefits of prenups for younger couples

71078184_S.jpgMany Missouri couples might skip a prenup when they get married if they are just starting out or are still college students. Like many people, they might assume that a prenup is only for those who already have substantial assets. However, a prenup is one way to plan for the future, particularly when there is always the possibility that a couple's financial situation might significantly change.

While it might seem like negative thinking, a prenup does more than just prepare for the possibility of the end of a marriage. It can also help if one of the spouses passes away and there is the need to manage their estate. In the case of a divorce, a prenup takes into account any debt that the two spouses brought into the marriage -- for example, financing for their college and advanced education. What a prenup does is consider what each person would want in case the marriage ends while taking into account both what they bring to the marriage and what the potential for additional assets is as the years go by. A prenup also provides a good basis for an honest conversation about finances and financial planning before the marriage even begins.

Tips for fathers in protecting their rights after divorce

47872874_S (1).jpgWhen Missouri parents get a divorce, they may be concerned about child custody negotiations and how much time they will be able to spend with their children. Some fathers might be worried that the rights of the mother will be prioritized over the rights of the father although both parents are supposed to have equal footing in a custody dispute.

There are several things fathers can do to protect their rights. It is important to be realistic about requests for custody and visitation. Fathers should have the physical space for the children in their home as well as the time to spend with them. They may also need to examine their emotions toward the other parent and let those emotions go. Putting the best interest of the child first is critical. Parents might also need to step away from small conflicts, such as what the child will wear.

Child support leads to most garnishments in Missouri

111539079_S.jpgAccording to a 2016 study conducted by the ADP Research Institute analyzing anonymous pay data of 12 million American workers, about 7 percent of American workers are having their wages garnished. When an employee's wages are garnished, a court orders an employer to automatically deduct money from the employee's wages in order to pay debt. Wage garnishments affect employees in certain industries and parts of the country more than others. Manufacturing workers in the Midwest have the highest rate of wage garnishment at about 26 percent.

The average yearly salary of employees who have their wages garnished is about $44,000 and most workers are middle-aged. Large companies have a higher percentage of employees who have wage garnishments with about 10 percent of employees being affected by wage garnishments versus about 7 percent for small companies.

How courts decide child custody in Missouri

29493362_S (1).jpgAside from the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, which is used to help prevent interstate child abduction, child custody laws are set at the state level. Custody decisions made by a court in Missouri are based on what is in the best interests of the child.

In determining what the child's best interests are, the court will take a number of factors into account. These include each parent's plan for custody, whether either parent is considering a move and the child's preferences. The court considers it important that the child maintain a relationship with both parents, so it also looks at how willing each parent is to make sure the child has that relationship. Furthermore, it will consider the mental and physical health of all parties and whether there has been any neglect or abuse.

Filing a paternity case to establish father's rights

113612660_S.jpgFathers in Missouri who were not married when their child was born will need to file a petition to establish paternity to enjoy the same rights as fathers who were married to a child's mother when the child was born. This is true even if a father's name is on the birth certificate and there is no doubt that he is the father of the child.

A father who wants to establish his paternity rights will either need to take a DNA test to prove that he is the biological father, or both he and the biological mother can sign an affidavit acknowledging paternity. Signing an acknowledgement and obtaining a court order is the fastest way to establish paternity.

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