Kansas City Family Law Blog

Overview of Missouri's relocation rules

Like many other states, Missouri has specific rules that cover situations in which a parent in the Kansas City area needs to move.

The purpose of these rules is to make sure that, on the one hand, parents who need to make a move for good reasons have the ability to do so without having to worry about losing a relationship with their kids and, on the other hand, the other parent gets to maintain his or her relationship with the children as well, at least to the fullest extent possible.

Who decides who gets custody of the children after divorce?

Missouri parents know that divorce can be extremely difficult on the youngest members of the family. As a parent facing the divorce process, it is likely that one of your main concerns is the protection of your children and allowing them to have a strong and stable future. It can be helpful to understand how child custody works and who makes these important decisions.

Parents have the right to maintain a strong relationship with their children after divorce. It is important for you to pursue a final order that respects your rights as a parent while allowing your kids to have as much continuity of lifestyle as possible. Before you make any important custody-related decisions, you will find it beneficial to seek a full understanding of your legal rights and options.

When might child support end in Missouri?

While Missouri parents will want to pay child support to care for their children after they have parted ways with the other parent, it is still a significant financial outlay that can cause them to struggle to make ends meet. There is nothing wrong with asking when the child support will no longer need to be paid. On the other side, the custodial parent will also want to know the circumstances under which child support might terminate so they can be prepared for it. Knowing when child support can be terminated is critical for all parties.

According to the law, the circumstances will dictate when the child support will stop and if it must continue. In general, the child support will end if the child: dies; gets married; becomes an active member of the military; is self-supporting with the caveat that the custodial parent no longer maintains parental control over the child either by express or implied consent; turns 18-years-old except in certain situations; or turns 21, again, unless there are certain situations in place.

What are the requirements for a divorce in Missouri?

It is an unfortunate reality that many marriages in Missouri and across the U.S. simply do not work out and the couple decides to divorce. The end of a marriage can be a difficult time rife with dispute over various issues, but it can also be a positive if the parties are able to move on. What is key to a successful divorce proceeding is understanding the requirements to complete the process.

Couples in Missouri must meet the residency requirement by living in the state for a minimum of 90 days. Missouri is a "no-fault" divorce state. That means that neither side must show that the other party did anything wrong to facilitate the divorce. Simply deciding to end the marriage is sufficient. But it is important to remember that there are factors that the court consider when determining if a divorce should be allowed to move forward.

What if there is a failure to pay child support in Missouri?

When parents share a child in our state and have parted ways as a couple, one of the issues that must be addressed is child support. In most cases, the custodial parent and the supporting parent will want to ensure adequately care for the child. This is true even if there are lingering issues between the two of them.

Unfortunately, in some cases, there is a dispute between the parents and the supporting parent does not pay what is owed on time, in full, or does not make the payments at all. When this is the case, it is important to understand how to enforce a child support order. When there is a child support order, but it is not paid, it is vital to try and enforce it. Enforcement can be done by dealing with the supporting parent privately or it is possible to use the Missouri Family Support Division -- Child Support Enforcement (FSD).

What your age has to do with your divorce

Life expectancy for Missouri residents has increased through the years, right along with everyone throughout the nation. This means many people tend to be married much longer than what the average marriage lasted long ago. If you've been with your spouse for two or more decades, you've likely acquired many assets and perhaps, even own a business or have various stocks, bonds and investments in your financial portfolio.  

That's all well and good unless you're currently preparing for divorce. Things can get rather complicated concerning marital property, retirement funds, Social Security, taxes and more. However, you're definitely not alone in your decision to divorce later in life. There's been a tremendous increase in divorce for people age 50 and beyond, so much so that people invented the colloquial term, "gray divorce" to categorize the topic. To avoid obstacles as you proceed toward settlement, you'll want to carefully review state laws and have access to legal support as well. 

Navigating Missouri child custody issues requires legal help

Parents in Kansas City and throughout our state will always want to place their children and their well-being first. This is especially important when the couple ends a marriage and must determine child custody and visitation. Unfortunately, this is also the most contentious matter in a divorce. Therefore, it is important to have competent and experienced legal advice.

Some cases are relatively amicable. In these instances, despite the issues that led to the parents parting ways, they can communicate in a friendly and agreeable manner to serve the best interests of the child.

Can visitation plans be expanded to include grandparents?

When a Missouri couple ends a marriage and there are children involved, it is not simple to determine the visitation plans. Often, this is limited to parenting time, but there are others, such as grandparents who believe they should have the right to see the child. This can be the foundation for a dispute. Understanding the law regarding grandparent visitation is key when there are issues preventing it.

Reasonable visitation can be given to grandparents in four circumstances. First, if the parents have decided to dissolve the marriage, the grandparents can intervene in the action only because of visitation issues. They can also file a motion to have a dissolution decree modified, so they can have visitation after it has been denied. Second, if a parent of the child has died and the surviving parent issues a denial to the parent of the deceased person -- the child's grandparent -- to see the child, visitation can be granted.

What factors are considered with property division in Missouri?

When a Missouri couple decides to move forward with the end of a marriage, property division is frequently one of the most contentious issues that they must face. As rife for dispute the disposition of property is and how it is decided who will get what, there are laws as to how property and debts are handled in a divorce. Understanding what factors will be considered is a foundational aspect of dealing with the case.

When the couple is divorcing, the court will determine what is marital property and what is non-marital property. The same holds true for debts. The non-marital property will belong to the spouse who had it prior to the marriage or has a right to it based on it being non-marital property. The economic situations of the spouses when the property will be divided - including who wants the family home and will live there - will be weighed. The contributions from the spouses as to the marital property being acquired will be gauged and this will include contributions if one of the spouses was a homemaker. The value of the non-marital property will be set apart to the spouses. The court will consider the conduct of both parties while they were married. And the custodial arrangements, if there are minor children, will be factored in.

What are the two types of child custody?

Going through a divorce and witnessing the impact that event may have on the lives of one's children can be difficult for a Missouri parent to bear. It is often during negotiations related to the futures of their children that parents zealously fight for what they think with provide their kids with the best possible lives in the wake of divorce. Child custody is one of the biggest topics that a parent will have to address when their marriage comes to its end.

Child custody can be divided into two main categories: legal custody and physical custody. A parent who retains legal custody of their child after a divorce can stay involved in the important decisions that must be made regarding the child's upbringing. For example, a parent with legal custody can have a say in where the child receives their education, and if their child will attend church as a part of their inclusion in a system of worship.

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