Kansas City Family Law Blog

Legal separation in Missouri

Like other states, Missouri has a process called legal separation. In essence, a legal separation allows a married couple to live apart while being protected by a state court via order for property division, child custody and support and the like. At the same time, the couple remains legally married.

Legal separation has been described as a middle ground for those who feel the need to maintain separate households, sometimes for very compelling reasons like domestic violence, yet they wish to remain married for religious or moral reasons. The process does not end a couple's marriage, yet it goes a lot further in protecting the parties than simply having one party move out of the family home.

Offshore accounts can they raise issues

It might be surprising how many Kansas City residents, even those who live in typical suburbs in the area and hold ordinary jobs, engage in offshore banking.

Contrary to what one might have gathered in the movie and in reading about the tax schemes of some unscrupulous wealthy people, offshore accounts are not illegal. In general, a person is free to put their money in the financial institution of a foreign country and may well have lots of legitimate reasons for doing so.

Negotiating some virtual visitation into your custody agreement

Even if your marital relationship doesn't last, your relationship with your children should. You and the other parent may both understand that fighting over custody in court probably wouldn't help anyone as far as planning for the future and making a smooth transition into a new life.

In the interests of making the process less stressful for everyone, you agreed to work on a custody agreement outside of the courtroom in order to reduce the tension and find a way that you can work together for the best interests of your children. You can think outside the box as far as figuring out what arrangements would work best for your family.

When it comes to property division, beware of sentimental value

When a Kansas City resident has a piece of property, like a favorite chair or an heirloom china set, he or she might say that the property has sentimental value to him or her. The term sentimental value means that, while the property might not be worth much to the general public, it has a great deal of worth to the owner.

Sentimental value is what value an individual, usually the owner of the property, puts on a piece of property and is almost always higher than what the property is worth to an average person. It is usually based on a person's association of the property with a person, place, thing or memory. It can also be based on the feeling that a person worked hard to acquire or improve the property, oftentimes spending money to do so.

For better or for worse, Missouri is a 50-50 child state

Of late, several states have decided to make moves toward giving both moms and dads equal time with their children. Missouri is one of those states. In other words, under current Missouri law, if parents are living in two separate households and need a custody order, the default will be a parenting plan where dad gets to have the kids in his home half of the time, and mom gets them the other half of the time.

While 50-50 is not how it always works in practice, and there are exceptions to the rule, in general, a parent who has been responsibly involved in the lives of his or her children is going to see his or her children for a good chunk of the time. It is, in these cases, just a matter of getting a detailed parenting plan worked out.

Requirements for creating a prenuptial agreement

As a previous post on this blog discussed, prenuptial agreements can be very beneficial to couples in the Kansas City area who are thinking about taking the next step in their relationship and tying the knot. Particularly when one or both of the spouses has been married before, a prenuptial agreement can help even happily married couples with no plans to divorce protect certain valuable legal interests.

Like other states, Missouri law imposes certain minimum legal requirements that couples must abide by if they want to create a valid prenuptial agreement.

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.

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Kansas City, MO 64111

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