Family Law Archives

The child custody plan: What if your teenager hates it?

When you and your spouse decided to get a divorce, the most difficult part was that you would have to split up time with your children. You both talked about different custody plans that you thought would work well. You even had a plan in mind to submit to the court.

Choose a child's guardian with care

Many Missouri parents may worry about what will happen to their child after they die. Although people think they will always be around for their children, it is important to remember that sometimes life does not go the way people think it will. Because of this, it is a good idea for people to choose a guardian for their child.

Marital property may include more than some think

When people file for divorce in Missouri, there are a myriad of issues to negotiate, including division of property. In Missouri, and in many other states in the nation, marital property is divided according to what the court believes to be fair and equitable. While some people may think marital property is simply the family home, cars, furniture and bank account contents, there are several other items that are considered marital property and are eligible for division. It is critical that people understand what constitutes marital property so they can be sure to get everything they are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

What happens to home equity when you divorce?

When you divorce your spouse in Missouri, you will undoubtedly need to determine which one of you will keep certain assets, and in most cases, the most valuable asset a couple shares is their home. Therefore, one of the more important matters you will need to work through during your divorce is what you plan to do with your family home, and you will typically have several options available to you in doing so.

Should you adopt independently?

If you are thinking about adopting a baby in Missouri, you have a number of options. You can go through an adoption agency, but there is often a long waiting list for infants. Another option is independent adoption, in which you work directly with the birth mom. While this can be a good way to go, it is important to know the benefits and risks before deciding to go that route.

What to expect at a Missouri child support modification hearing

When you have a child support arrangement in place in Missouri, a time may come when the party either paying or receiving support has reason to request a child support modification to change the amount paid or received. If the party paying the support objects to the requested change, the next step may involve having both of you attend a child support modification hearing. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we have helped many clients both requesting and contesting child support modifications, and our broad knowledge of the system and process have helped many people facing similar circumstances pursue solutions that fit their needs.

New year, new alimony taxation

The thought of getting divorced at any time of year is generally one of the last things people in Missouri want to rush through. The thought of hurrying to get divorced amidst the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's season would be even less palatable to people under normal circumstances. This year, however, circumstances are anything but normal as a major change to the tax code set to take effect in 2019 will have major implications on divorce settlements nationwide.

Can I make choosing a guardian for my kids harmonious?

Choosing a person to be a possible guardian for your children in Missouri is a difficult enough task since you have to contemplate who can care for your kids if you should pass away before they reach adulthood. However, picking a guardian could ruffle some feathers among your family or your spouse's family. Here are some ways you can promote harmony among your family as you choose your guardian.

Is joint-custody the best option?

Filing for divorce is not an easy decision, especially when there are children involved. Everyone wants to make choices that are in the best interest of the children. In some situations, it can be difficult to determine whether kids would benefit more from a sole-custody or joint-custody living arrangement. Many kids in Missouri and across the U.S. are made to live primarily with one parent, while the non-custodial parent has visitation rights. Studies show, however, that kids who grow up in joint-custody living arrangements, where they spend a significant amount of time with both parents, may benefit the most.

Reviewing Missouri's paternity establishment processes

The word "paternity" is often only used in a negative context. Most associate it with action meant to prove that one in Lee's Summit who is claiming to not be a child's father actually is. Yet there may also be cases where men wanting to be recognized as a child's father would want to have their paternity established. Fortunately, the state has created guidelines to help assign paternity in either case. 

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