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St. Louis Family Law Blog

Will I benefit from filing for divorce first?

When things are not going well in a marriage, it may be obvious for both spouses that divorce is an inevitability. However, there will likely be a significant amount of hesitation when it comes to taking action to file for divorce. You may still have hope that you could work things out, or you may worry about how a divorce could affect your children.

You may also have questions about whether it would be beneficial for you to take the initial action to file for divorce. The following are some reasons why being the person to file for divorce could be beneficial for you.

Should I request a child custody modification?

Rearing a child when you are separated from their other parent can be challenging at times. If you are unhappy with the current child custody arrangement for one reason or another, you may want to request a child custody modification. However, you can only request a child custody modification under certain circumstances.

If you want to file for a modification, you will need to show that the situation has changed since the current child custody arrangement was put into place. The following are some situations in which it would be appropriate to attempt to modify child custody.

Tips for dividing marital property without a dispute

Every divorcing spouse wants to feel that they gained a fair outcome for themselves. However, they usually do not want to undergo a stressful and costly court battle to ensure this is the case. Many divorcing spouses find themselves stuck between wanting a positive outcome and not wanting a traumatic court battle.

If adequate time is spent establishing priorities and planning a divorce strategy, it can be possible to get the outcome that you want regarding asset division without fighting tooth and nail. The following are some tips for doing just that.

The holidays are coming up fast; co-parents need to be ready

Before you know it, the holidays will be upon you. If this is your first holiday season after your divorce, you may wonder whether all of the work you did on your parenting plan will pay off now. In an effort to make the season enjoyable for everyone, you may feel some stress.

If you are trying to make sure everyone enjoys the holidays now that your family dynamic has substantially changed, the stress only tends to multiply. Perhaps if you begin your planning now, you can lower the anxiety level for everyone involved.

How does supervised visitation work?

The child custody courts want all children to have a positive relationship with both their parents when it is possible. But they also want to protect their well-being and safety as a top priority. If a parent wants to have a relationship with their child, but they are suffering from issues such as addiction or mental illness, the courts may decide that supervised visitation is necessary to ensure their safety.

This means that all contact that the parent has with the child must be done with the supervision of another individual. The following are two common ways in which supervised visits can be carried out.

Is an open adoption good for the child?

If you are interested in adopting, you've probably researched the different types of options available. Adoptions should always be designed to fit the specific circumstances and to help the child to adapt to their new life. Therefore, considering the child's best interests is a good way to determine which type of adoption would be best.

Open adoptions are very common when a pregnant woman chooses have their child adopted at birth. This means that the adoptive parents and the birth mother can have communication before the birth of the child. Open adoption allows the identities of all parties to be shared and opens up the possibility of communication between the birth mother and the child at a later date.

Common concerns about divorce

It's common and completely natural to have concerns about going through a divorce, even if you have come to terms with the fact that your marriage is beyond repair.

Divorce is almost guaranteed to change all aspects of your life, but this does not mean that it has to change your life in a negative way. It's important, therefore, that you try to stay positive. The following are some of the biggest concerns that people have before filing for divorce, and reasons why they should not necessarily be feared.

Custody modifications when a custodial parent dies

No child should ever have to lose their parent. If a custodial parent passes away, this will undoubtedly be a sad time for the whole family, and together, they will need time to heal. Modifications will need to take place so that the child gets the familial support that is in their best interests.

The court will need to decide whether the other parent will gain full custody of the child, or whether another party, e.g., a grandparent, will share custodial rights. The following are some factors that are considered by courts when making a custody modification after the death of a custodial parent.

Reducing custody stress during the school year

Missouri custody decisions can involve physical and legal custody rights. If you have physical custody of your children, your children's main residence is your home. If you have legal custody, you are the parent who makes the critical decisions on your child's behalf. However, more often lately, courts are working to provide a more equitable balance of time and authority to both parents. Perhaps you and your ex were able to reach a parenting plan on your own.

Regardless of how you resolved your custody issues, the start of a new school year has the potential to create chaos out of the most well-ordered plan. As much as you hope to provide a stress-free and positive new school year for your children, you and your ex may be unable to avoid frustrating disputes unless you plan your methods of communicating throughout the school year.

How do the courts divide marital property in Missouri?

State laws can differ significantly when it comes to dividing property during divorce. This is why it is important to pay attention to the laws that specifically apply to Missouri if you are planning to divorce in the state.

Missouri, like many states, does not recognize community property laws. This means that marital assets will not be automatically divided equally between spouses, regardless of the circumstances of the divorce. Instead, the courts will consider a variety of factors to establish the fairest way of dividing marital assets.

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