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St. Louis Fathers' Rights & Divorce Law Blog

What will happen to the family's pets after divorce?

17532519_S.jpgThere is a reason that dogs are referred to as "man's best friend." They are intuitive, loving, affectionate and always eager to please. Many Americans feel that same love and affection for their cats (or any other family pet for that matter).

So when a family is separated by divorce, pets often get stuck in the middle. Unfortunately, the situation is further complicated by the fact that there are few laws - if any - governing pet custody. In most states, pets are still considered property and subject to the state's property division laws.

An overview on property division in Missouri divorce

32496022_S.jpgWith Christmas just a week away, many Americans have consumerism on the brain. While some of your most treasured possessions may have been a gift at one time, it's not always easy to remember how and when your first acquired the things you own. This is particularly true when you have been married for a number of years and have comingled assets with your spouse.

For this and other reasons, property division can be one of the trickiest aspects of divorce. Some possessions will only be wanted/used by one spouse and are therefore easy to divide. But big-ticket items, shared assets and comingled finances may prove to be much more complicated.

Divorce & the holiday season: Survival tips to consider

13952630_S.jpgA few weeks ago, we wrote about a difficult situation that many Americans face over the holidays. If you are currently going through or have recently gone through a divorce, child custody dispute, remarriage or any other family change, the holidays can be a painful and stressful reminder of the ways things used to be. They can also make the current holiday feel foreign by comparison.

Although our previous post discussed Thanksgiving, this is a problem that can easily continue through, Christmas, New Year's and any other holidays you may celebrate around this time of year. Thankfully, there are ways to survive and even thrive during the holidays despite the family law issues you may have recently experienced. In today's post, we'll specifically discuss divorce stress around the holidays.

Illinois child custody laws also receive a C+ grade

19196399_S.jpgLast week, we began a discussion about a state-by-state ranking of child custody laws. When the National Parents Organization assigned letter grades to each state, it specifically measured each state's child custody laws by how well they promote the outcome of shared custody.

Keeping both parents involved in their children's lives and promoting "shared parenting" is the stated goal of the NPO. No state received an A grade, and two were bad enough to be given an F. Missouri and Illinois each received a C+ grade.

Parenting group gives Missouri's child custody laws a C+ grade

26122875_S.jpgLast month, we wrote about an emerging trend in family law wherein shared child custody is the presumed starting point of custody negotiations. Research in recent years has confirmed the benefits of keeping both parents involved in their children's lives after divorce, when possible. Fathers' rights groups have also been pushing for changes to child custody laws and practices in an attempt to give fathers equal consideration.

Recently, a non-profit advocacy group called the National Parents Organization examined child custody laws in all 50 states and assigned a letter grade to each state. Both Missouri and Illinois received a C+, and no states earned an A.

Owning your divorce and ignoring critical opinions

12449167_S.jpgDivorce no longer carries the stigma that it did in the past. There was a time when divorce was not socially acceptable, and individuals often stayed in dysfunctional marriages simply to avoid the harsh judgment of others.

Obviously, divorce is more common now and much more socially acceptable. But that doesn't mean judgment and criticism have completely gone away. After a lot of soul-searching, some people find that they are judgmental about divorce, which can be a real problem if they end up facing their own divorce later on.

Don't let family law issues stand in the way of a happy Thanksgiving

20297266_S.jpgYou likely need no reminder that Thanksgiving is this week. The holiday season that starts with Thanksgiving is supposed to be a happy time, and for the most part, it is. But there is also a lot of expectation and hype surrounding the holidays that can add layers of stress and disappointment.

If you have gone through a divorce, remarriage, separation or other family change in recent years, Thanksgiving can be a painful reminder of the way things used to be. You may be especially worried about disappointing your children or stepchildren. The good news is, you're not alone! And the internet is full of sage advice from families who have been through this before.

Unwed couples can protect themselves with cohabitation agreements

8549553_S.jpgAlthough precise data is hard to come by, it is nonetheless clear that marriage rates are on the decline in the United States. This is, in part, due to the high rate of divorce that many Americans in their 20s and 30s witnessed when they were growing up.

Instead of getting married, many couples are opting for cohabitation instead. They live together, they may comingle finances and other assets and might even choose to have kids together. While there is certainly nothing wrong with cohabitation before or instead of marriage, you should know that it does not spare couples from the financial and other consequences of divorce. In fact, divorce offers some legal protections that unmarried couples will not have if and when they dissolve their relationship.

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