Approaching the holidays, you may have noticed your marriage is under a lot more pressure than usual. Whether you are just beginning to experience marital disharmony, or you have been unhappy with your union for a long time, we at the law firm of Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, know that the holidays can be difficult for Missouri residents. In fact, the period after Christmas and New Year’s signals the start of what many family law attorneys call “divorce season.”
When your marriage is not going well, you may consider divorce. In some situations, though, divorce is not the right answer. Missouri offers you an alternative. According to the Missouri Courts, you can file for a legal separation. This allows you to have a formal decision on your relationship without the permanent effects of a divorce.
If you are a recently divorced Missouri resident, your life may be undergoing considerable change. You may, for example, be adjusting to living in a new place, or you may find yourself grappling with having your children in your home only part of the time, as opposed to all the time. Divorce brings with it inevitable change, and while this holds true with regard to family relationships, it also holds true when it comes time to file your taxes.
If you and your spouse share a Missouri home and the two of you are planning to divorce, you may have valid concerns about what will happen to any equity you have managed to build in your home over time. In most cases, you have three main options once you reach this point in your life, and it is up to you and your soon-to-be-former partner to determine which one might best fit your needs.
One of the most difficult divorce topics to tackle is that dealing with property division. People often get emotionally attached to their possessions and finances, and it can be hard to part with items that people have accumulated during a marriage. Missouri follows the equitable division of property model when distributing marital property and assets in a divorce. This means that the judge presiding over the case will divide property and assets based on what he or she deems fair. The judge will often take into account certain factors, such as how long the couple was married, the occupation and health of each party and the reason for the divorce.
When you began receiving child support payments, you may have been under the assumption that the court might monitor your spending, especially since most payments are put on a debit card these days. If you spend child support electronically, will the courts or your ex receive receipts or reports on your spending? What if you use a portion of your child support check on candy, a birthday present or household cleaning supplies? These are not unreasonable worries for Missouri parents who receive child support, but the answer can help ease your mind.
As you and your spouse go through the process of getting a divorce in Missouri, you will be faced with many important decisions regarding your future. Often, these critical choices involve topics related to who will have full custody of your children, if you or your spouse will be required to pay alimony, and how your shared assets will be split. When it comes to dividing property and financial assets, chances are you will not be able to maintain full ownership of these things, but you may be able to split the benefits with your ex.