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St. Louis Fathers' Rights & Divorce Law Blog

Alienation can affect child support rulings

10892151_S.jpgThere are various aspects to divorce, and family law matters get further complicated when children are involved. There is a lot on the line with kids. Parents' relationships with their children are at-risk. The well-being and emotional stability of the kids is important to protect. And the financial security of the parties is impacted by family law issues and disputes. 

An out-of-state source discusses a recent trend related to child support in various states. The supposed trend leads to bittersweet results. On one side, a parent who feels he is treated unfairly preserves his rights to his money. On the other side, there is a child who might not get the financial support he or she needs.

Can I ask my wife/husband to pay my divorce fees?

46328323_S.jpgThis is a question that we get asked a lot, especially by people who make less than their spouses. They are often concerned that they will not be able to afford an attorney if they have to pay for it by themselves.

The good news is that it is possible to ask the court to order your spouse to reimburse you for your attorney's fees and court costs. Whether or not this will be successful depends on the facts surrounding your case, and it's important to acknowledge that it's not always possible.

How do we tell the kids we are getting a divorce?

8756589_S.jpgA couple of weeks ago, we shared some tips for divorcing parents on how to successfully co-parent their children, even when the parents' relationship is rocky at best. In today's post, we will discuss something few divorcing parents look forward to: the conversation where you tell your children that Mom and Dad are getting a divorce.

Learning that their parents are splitting up can be traumatic for a child, but there are steps you can take to make the moment as cathartic and reassuring as possible, according to KTVI-TV:

When couples therapy ends in divorce

21032311_S.jpgIf you and your spouse are experiencing significant marital challenges, you may be considering attending couples therapy. Couples therapy can be a very beneficial experience for you and/or your spouse. However, it is important to understand that simply because you are attending couples therapy, your marriage may still end in divorce.

How can attending couples therapy fail to "save" your marriage? To understand the answer to this question, it is important to explore the purpose of couples therapy. The purpose of couples therapy is arguably to allow you and your spouse to communicate about your issues. Sometimes honest, healthy communication ends in a strengthening of one's union. However, sometimes this kind of communication reveals that divorce is the healthiest option available.

A helpful tip for divorcing parents

13642621_S.jpgIf you and your child's other parent are either currently navigating a divorce or have recently finalized one, you are likely feeling overwhelmed by the process of becoming a single parent. Even if you have a significant support network in your life, it is never easy to transition from parenting with a partner to parenting alone. The challenges inherent in this process may be exacerbated if you and your child's other parent are not getting along at the moment.

Thankfully, you do not have to love or even like your child's other parent when attempting to make your situation easier and more peaceful for you and your child. It can be helpful to think of your co-parenting relationship with your former spouse as a business partnership. Not all business partners like each other, but they aim to work together for the good of the business. Your "business" in this scenario is your child. You may not like your co-parent, but you can still work together for the good of your child and the peace of your recently reorganized family structure.

Why indifference can be your best friend during divorce

34842907_S.jpgIf you and your spouse have opted to divorce, you are likely anything but indifferent towards the divorce process itself and you are likely anything but indifferent towards your spouse. The very thought of your spouse likely inspires intense emotions that may include sadness, anger, frustration, guilt and/or longing. The idea that your spouse inspires strong emotions within you is completely understandable. However, it may benefit you to opt for indifference towards your spouse in a specific way during the divorce process.

When you and your attorney are working to secure a fair divorce settlement for you and possibly working to secure a fair custody arrangement for your child, you cannot afford to allow your emotions to drive your approach to this process. For example, if you are feeling guilty about some event or behavior that contributed to the dissolution of your marriage, you may be inclined to give your spouse more money and property than he or she is entitled to. This is problematic, as you almost certainly need to secure your fair share of marital assets in order to build a healthy future for yourself and for any children you may have.

Case highlights issue of sexual abuse, visitation rights, P.1

Getting the most out of one’s custody rights is important to many parents who find themselves at odds with a former partner over the issue of custody and visitation. As many readers know, just because one’s relationship with one’s partner falls apart, this does not mean the desire to be there for one’s kids is diminished. Although it may be hard to understand, this is also true for those who have mistakes in their past and who have a history of abuse or domestic violence.

An out-of-state case involving a father who was convicted in 2009 of molesting his daughter is an example of this. In this case, the father was convicted in Missouri of first-degree child molestation and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The mother ended up remarrying in 2013 and later asking the father to voluntarily relinquish his parental rights so that her new husband could adopt the daughter and her two younger brothers. This, the father refused to do. 

What factors do Missouri judges consider in child custody determinations?

15451962_S.jpgChild custody is among the most important issues a couple will deal with when terminating their relationship. The uncertainty of the outcome can be very trying. Unfortunately, the outcome of the process is not easy to determine in advance, because judges have a significant amount of discretion in making a decision.

Under Missouri law, judges are charged with making custody determinations in accordance with the best interests of the child.  All relevant factors are supposed to be considered when determining what is in the best interests of a child, and state statute identifies a number of them specifically.