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St. Louis Family Law Blog

How marital property is divided in Missouri

When you go through a divorce in any state in the United States, you will need to go through the process of asset division. This means that you will have to categorize all assets as either marital property or non-marital property. Non-marital property refers to any type of property that was either acquired before the marriage took place, that was a gift or was a form of inheritance. Marital property will count as any property that was jointly acquired during the length of the marriage.

The state of Missouri does not recognize community property. This means that instead of all assets being divided equally between spouses, the Missouri courts will consider a number of factors to decide upon a fair way to distribute the marital assets.

Is it possible to have alimony payments increased?

If you have recently divorced, you may be relying on alimony payments from your ex-spouse in order to get by. This could be especially true if you are the primary caregiver of your children.

It is possible that you will find it difficult to maintain your lifestyle and keep it at the same standard that it was before your divorce, and if this is the case, your settlement could feel unfair. Many in this position wonder if it is possible to modify their alimony payments so that they are actually increased.

What does the most expensive divorce in history mean for you?

Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years have recently announced they are getting divorced. Jeff is the founder of Amazon, which he started after he was married. This means that any wealth generated from this company over the course of the marriage could be eligible for division between the spouses. As you can imagine, this is a significant amount of money -- $137 billion, to be exact.

If you are facing the prospect of a divorce in Missouri, chances are that you do not have billions of dollars at stake, but there are still some helpful takeaways from the most expensive divorce in history that may benefit you in the future. This is the case, no matter how wealthy you are or the value of your marital assets. 

Paying for services directly can limit child support disputes

Parents often argue about exactly what child support payments should cover. The person getting the payments thinks everything purchased for a child should be covered. Meanwhile, the other person thinks a lot of those things are frivolous, or they simply don't believe the money is actually going for what their co-parent says it is.

If your goal is to limit disputes and arguments over child support, one way to do it is by paying for things directly rather than paying your co-parent for something or reimbursing them later. This ensures that costs still get covered. These setups are known as hybrid support solutions.

Understanding financial expectations after divorce

Divorce will change your financial reality. Many people assume that life will stay the same, but it's just not realistic in most cases. Even if you're used to a lavish, high-class lifestyle and you have significant assets, they'll be spread a bit thinner after divorce.

Some systems are set up to reduce this impact. For instance, you may deserve alimony or spousal support. You may get child support to help you raise the kids. However, don't assume that everything will be exactly the same.

5 important facts about adoption

Are you considering adoption? It's exciting to think about as your family grows, but it's also something you don't want to rush into. You need to carefully think through every step so that it goes smoothly and so that you can make the right choice for you and your new child.

To help you get started, here are some important facts about adoption in the United States:

  1. The biggest reason that people decide to adopt a child is because they cannot have one naturally. It gives them a chance to have the family they've always dreamed of even with issues like infertility.
  2. It is very common for adoption to cross racial barriers. For instance, about one-third of foster care children who wind up getting adopted are a different race than their new parents.
  3. You must plan for it financially. The costs may be higher than you think. Some estimate that it could take as much as $50,000 to fund an adoption. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to the cost, so every case is different, but it is not cheap.
  4. Adoption can be great for the children, as well as the parents. It can give them greater happiness and social success in their lives.
  5. Many children spend years in foster care before they get adopted, breaking the stereotype of adoptions only focusing on newborns.

Typical signs that your marriage could be headed for divorce

It takes a lot of work, sacrifice and change for a marriage to be successful. Even the most unselfish of individuals cannot make a relationship work alone. There's no secret formula for a perfect marriage as every relationship is different.

However, most marriages will experience the same warning signs that could signal a future divorce. Be on the lookout for the signs discussed in today's post.

What is nesting really like?

Nesting is a relatively new idea for child custody after divorce. The basics include keeping the children in one home, which is typically the one they lived in during the marriage. The couple continues to own that home. As time goes by, the parents move in and out, following a set custody schedule.

This is far different from the normal system of moving the children in and out of two homes owned by their parents. Some experts believe it really puts the kids first because it means that the divorce has a far less drastic impact on their lives. Typically, due to the expense involved, it is thought of as a potential solution for fairly wealthy couples.

Is a legal separation just a practice divorce?

Divorce can seem like a scary option when your marriage starts to get difficult. Just like any relationship, there are any number of reasons why a marriage can go from amazing to terrible over the years. People and circumstances change and what was once adorable can become the thing that pushes you over the edge.

Many people will make the progression from married to separated to divorced on their own, without making any formal agreement. The separation period becomes something of a “wait and see” time where you try to figure out what to do. A legal separation, however, can be valuable in some circumstance.

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