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Key considerations during divorce in Missouri

Things to know when considering divorce in Missouri.
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    January 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Key considerations during divorce in Missouri

Article provided by Kallen Law Firm, LLC
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As anyone who has ever been through a divorce knows, the process of ending a marriage can seem overwhelming at times. At a time when the stakes may feel higher than ever before, the questions often outnumber answers. Added to the mix are the intense emotions that often accompany the end of a marriage, which can make it even more difficult to cope and think clearly.

In order to minimize bumps along the road and help the divorce go smoothly, it can help to think ahead and learn as much as possible about what to expect during the process.

Missouri child custody law

For people with children, a primary concern during divorce is often how issues of child custody will be settled. Many people are not aware that child custody actually has two separate components -- legal custody and physical custody -- each of which can be shared by both parents or awarded solely to only one parent.

Legal custody refers to a parent's decision-making authority in important matters regarding the child's health, welfare and education. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to living with a child and providing him or her with day-to-day care or supervision.

In many cases, divorcing parents are able to negotiate their own child custody arrangements with the help of their attorneys. However, if they are not able to agree on a parenting plan, Missouri law requires that these issues will be settled by a judge according to the best interests of the children.

Child support

A related issue for divorcing parents is child support. Raising children typically becomes more costly after divorce, since it becomes necessary to maintain two households instead of one. Depending on where the parents live in relation to one another, the cost of transporting the children from one home to another can also be substantial.

In Missouri, child support payments follow a relatively fixed formula based on the income of both parents. Nevertheless, there is still substantial room for interpretation due to individual variations in family circumstances, as well as tax considerations and other factors that may affect how a parent's income is calculated. Therefore, it is critical that divorcing parents in Missouri speak openly with their attorneys about their financial circumstances to help make sure these issues are resolved fairly.

Missouri property division

Division of property is often another area of major concern for divorcing spouses. In Missouri, the law provides that all property acquired by either spouse during a marriage is presumed to be marital property, which means that it may be subject to division upon divorce. Spouses who believe that property acquired during marriage should be considered separate property and excluded from the division process should be sure to discuss the matter with their divorce attorneys.

Judges in Missouri are authorized to divide marital property between divorcing spouses in any manner they consider fair, which does not always mean that it will be divided equally. Examples of the factors that Missouri judges may apply when dividing property in divorce cases include:
-Each spouse's individual financial circumstances.
-Each spouse's economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage.
-Each spouse's conduct during the marriage.
-Each spouse's share of child custody responsibilities after the divorce.

For a more thorough discussion of these and other issues relating to divorce in Missouri, it is important to consult with a qualified divorce lawyer. An attorney with a strong background in these areas can provide clients with advice that is specifically tailored to their unique circumstances.

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