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Divorce may result in painful issues for parents and children

Divorce in Missouri is difficult on minor children just as it is everywhere else. The same universal dynamics repeatedly arise to fill the children with hurt and uncertainty. They become self-critical and wonder what they did to encourage the divorce. They question where they will live, go to school, who they will live with, and whether they may be compelled to take sides in a family law dispute that pits one parent against the other.

The news of a divorce may not always be a total surprise to a child but the official announcement may bring on a tidal wave of sad emotions. Those feelings may have been festering for months or even years so that there may be value in having it finally out on the table. The one silver lining may be that the parents and the children can now discuss the necessary changes freely. It allows for communicating together about coping, surviving and handling the divorce and separation in the best way possible.

Financial planning after divorce may identify needed changes

Some financial advisers in Missouri are experienced in assisting individuals who are going through a divorce or have recently completed the ordeal. Experts agree that the divorce experience is emotionally draining, and they also point to another inescapable aspect of the proceedings. That is the fact that, typically, a participant's expenses will go up while that person's income will decrease.

Some persons may escape immediate financial discomfort where they received a lump sum settlement of cash and are feeling pretty well-disposed after the divorce. That outcome often results in the cash being carelessly spent without taking a good hard look at what one must be prepared to endure and survive in the years ahead. A detailed evaluation of one's financial picture should be made prior to thinking that there is plenty of money on which to live in future years.

Missouri criminal defense: Man charged in fatal shooting

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a recent fatal shooting that claimed the life of another man, age 32. Missouri authorities are on the hunt for another suspect. The man arrested was allegedly the get-away driver in the Gravois Park neighborhood shooting. He will have to mount an aggressive criminal defense against the first-degree murder and criminal action charges leveled against him.

Cops said the victim was gunned down after being chased down the street. The shot that killed him was nearly at point-blank range. However, police documents indicate the accused was standing outside a vehicle with another person. They were apparently watching a fight when the other person shot the victim in the face and head with a gun he took from out of the vehicle. 

Criminal defense: 2 Missouri men charged with murder

Two men are facing charges after allegedly killing a man they found in a home they were intent on ransacking. Both the accused, who are from the Madison County area in Missouri, have been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of home invasion. They will both need to mount a strong criminal defense to fight the charges.

The 24-year-old male victim was fatally shot. He was one of a number of people in the home when the two defendants allegedly broke into the residence after 11 p.m. recently. Police said the two accused also threatened the homeowner with violence and robbed a guest.

Are women more successful by keeping the home after divorce?

Past studies indicate that nationwide, including in Missouri, women take a harder financial hit than men as a result of getting divorced. One study even observed a drop in post-divorce income for women while men had increases in their income after the divorce. One thing that some experts criticize is the tendency of women to want to retain the marital residence coming out of a divorce.

This was reported to have a negative impact, especially when it was clear that the divorce left her with insufficient budgetary means to support all of the payments and upkeep expenses on the house. Family law experts report seeing many women lose that asset within a year or two of the divorce. Now, however, a new study from an established university points to the woman's retention of the home as a marker indicating success after divorce.

Am I entitled to a portion of my ex’s retirement?

You supported your spouse for many years, working to help put him through college and then forgoing your own education to raise the children and take care of the home. Now that your marriage has ended, you are having difficulty finding a place in the workforce. Understandably, you feel cheated out of a secure future, and you worry about retirement since you didn’t work long enough to contribute much to your Social Security retirement fund. You (like many other Missouri residents) may want to know if you can receive retirement benefits from your ex.

It may be a great relief to learn that in some cases, you can be eligible for half of your ex-spouse’s Social Security retirement or disability benefits. However, as the Social Security Administration explains, there are some requirements and restrictions, which include the following:

  • You must have been married at least 10 years.
  • Your ex-spouse needs to be eligible to receive retirement or disability benefits from Social Security.
  • You must be 62 years of age or older to begin receiving benefits from your ex’s Social Security retirement.
  • Your own retirement benefits, based on your lifetime employment, would need to be less than what you would receive with your share of your ex’s benefits.

How to begin the process of discussing divorce with a spouse

How does one go about raising the issue of divorce with one's spouse? Because many men and women have struggled with that question, a lot of deceptive and hurtful methods have been chosen. If fact, some experts believe that there are spouses who choose to have an affair just to get caught and thereby end the marriage by having the other person demand a divorce. This avoids having to engage in one-to-one discussions about what went wrong and what to do going forward. It's not a good way to go about it, yet the strategy occurs repeatedly both in Missouri and elsewhere, whether it be a conscious or subconscious strategy by the offender.

One of the signs of a broken marriage is the failure to communicate. If the channels of discussion are down and closed, then a spouse may turn to an affair to get contact with the other spouse in a dramatic manner that will be certain to trigger a divorce action. This means also not trying too hard to keep it a secret, or getting caught accidentally on purpose, a rather damaging scenario for an estranged couple. 

Helping your children through divorce

Divorce can be a heart-wrenching process, especially when children are in the picture. You may fear you will not be able to help your kids. Thankfully, you can do a lot to help your children cope with the breakup of your marriage.

The most crucial thing to remember is that your kids need you to offer them hope, reassurance and stability. Here are some tips for accomplishing this.

Child custody and parental rights may be terminated if necessary

In Missouri, the family law courts will decide which parent gets child custody when the parents are disputing such rights. All states authorize child services agencies to petition the family law or juvenile court for termination of a parent's parental rights. Due to the general policy of the legislature in each state to encourage the preservation of the family bond between biological parents and their children, the courts do not lightly grant child custody to third parties nor do they readily approve termination of parental rights petitions.

One case in another state illustrates some conditions that warrant termination and also decides an issue about who is allowed to file a petition for termination. The appellate court held that there was sufficient evidence to terminate a mother's parental rights to her five children for their safety and in their best interest. The court also ruled that a court-appointed child advocate or a guardian ad litem appointed for the child could file and prosecute a petition for termination of parental rights.

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