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St. Louis Fathers' Rights & Divorce Law Blog

Getting past fear is key to co-parenting

95852794_S.jpgFor Missouri parents going through a divorce, the process can seem like a never-ending tug of war with children in the middle. Every parent wants what is best for their child and is usually willing to fight in court to realize that vision. When mediators, lawyers and judges bring up the idea of shared parenting, many people, especially those in high conflict divorces, simply refuse to listen. Although their motives in refusing to consider such an arrangement may be understandable, it might be a disservice to children not to consider shared parenting.

The trend in most jurisdictions is for an assumption that equally split parenting time is in the best interests of the children when deciding custodial arrangements. This is just a starting point, and adjustments are made depending on what the court determines is actually in the best interest of the children. Child safety is always paramount, so abusive, neglectful or historically absentee parents are unlikely to succeed if seeking joint custody of children. The best interest of the children is the guiding star for judges when custody is an issue.

Is it always wise to play nice during a divorce?

30581049_S.jpgDuring a divorce, it is typically unwise to let negative emotions -- like jealousy, anger and bitterness -- take control. Doing so could drag out a divorce, compromise your settlement and possibly even undermine your parenting rights. 

Having said that, you don't need to ignore these feelings and always play nice. Your divorce settlement can affect you for the rest of your life, and you may need to fight for what you deserve. Below, we examine a few scenarios in which a person may need to be more assertive than amicable.

Fathers: You Can Appeal an Unjust Divorce Case

AdobeStock_Father son fishing outdoors grass.jpegAlthough the laws are changing in favor of more equal treatment in divorce courts throughout the country, many fathers still feel like their wives are getting an unfair advantage in the courtroom.

You Have Rights

When this happens, many men feel like there's nothing they can do to protect their rights and make sure they get a fair shake. However, depending on the case, you might be able to appeal. With an appeal, the aspects of the case that were unfair could be re-heard, potentially with a totally different result.

How to be a good dad after your divorce

Thumbnail image for AdobeStock_92943721 - dad father with kids children grass reading book happy.jpegAt this point, everyone knows that divorce is challenging for the children. At a time when they need the most stability and consistency in their lives, everything seems to be in upheaval and change.

But there are things you can do as a father to help your children. If you are committed to helping your kids through the process, you can help them through this difficult time and still raise happy, healthy children.

Divorce may be difficult on your in-laws

Divorce is never easy. There are good reasons you wish to divorce. but divorcedivorcemaybedifficultonyourinlawS.jpg rarely only involves one other person. While you may divorce your husband or wife, there is an entire social network that will be implicated in your divorce.

Your children can be particularly thorny as a joint or shared physical custody or visitation arrangement with your children's other parent is likely to keep them involved in your life for the remainder the years until your children turn age 18, and potentially longer if you are jointly collaborating on their college education.

Have you experienced parental alienation?

10892151_S.jpgWhen a couple's relationship has failed and they begin the process of divorce, emotions often run high. They may harbor ill will towards each other and may occasionally complain, sometimes with a high degree of vitriol concerning their soon-to-be former spouse. This is not unusual or even unexpected.

But in some cases, it doesn't stop. During the divorce proceedings, this parent will continue to comment on the failings of their ex. Some may do it unconsciously, while others may become focused on pointing these failings, real or imagined, out to everyone they meet. And they may point them out repeatedly to the couple's children.

When you can't agree during a divorce

13671779_S.jpgSometimes, coming to an agreement during a divorce proceeding is difficult. A divorce is often about a loss of trust and that can make it hard for the parties to be willing to set aside their differences and do what is best for their future. Property issues can be particularly difficult as items of personal property may have sentimental or emotional value far beyond their apparent monetary value.

Similarly, property like real estate can be both emotional and financially problematic. One party may wish to retain the family home, but cannot afford to buy out the other party or may be financially crippled by such a transaction. This may lead to a deadlock, where they need to sell the property but cannot emotionally accept the deal.

Where you file your divorce matters

16713289_S.jpgMost people in St. Louis won't find they have much in common with the divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Few people have a marital estate measured in the hundreds of millions, but there are some lessons to be learned from their filing. If you have decided to file a divorce, jurisdiction is important. Jurisdiction is the term that defines the types of cases and the geographical area where a court may hear cases.

If you and your spouse are residents of Missouri, you need to file your divorce in this state. Jolie and Pitt have homes in multiple states and if Jolie met the residency requirements in more than one, she would have had a choice when choosing a state to file a divorce. She picked California, perhaps because it is a community property state.

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