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Melissa A. Featherston

St. Louis Family Law Blog

Know the specifics of the asset division process in your case

Divorce is a highly stressful process for many people. When you have considerable assets, the stress level will often increase. This is partially because of the process you will have to go through to divide the assets you have accumulated.

Complex asset division is something that nobody wants to deal with. You didn't get married and work hard to get the things that you have just to part with some of it during a divorce. We know that you've probably had that exact thought.

Professional women must protect their interests before marriage

More and more women are pursing advanced professional degrees these days. All of these women should make sure that they are taking steps to ensure that their interests are protected if their marriage ends. This means getting a prenuptial agreement before they say "I do."

There are many reasons why professional women, including doctors, need to get prenuptial agreements. One that really stands out is so their hard work doesn't mean that they have to pay out the wazoo in alimony. Unlike child support, which can't be included in a prenuptial agreement, you can include alimony conditions in a prenuptial agreement. This means that you can prevent having to pay outrageous payments to your ex.

How child support works in Missouri

While divorcing couples may choose to compromise on many issues, including property division, the law does not allow as much leeway on the question of child support. Unless the two parents share 50/50 physical custody, the parent with less parenting time may need to pay child support.

Missouri law provides guidelines for child support calculations that apply in the majority of cases. The calculations tally the parents' monthly gross income, taking into account alimony or support for other children the parents receive or pay. Basic child support calculations are based on income amounts and the number of children.

Legal separation is a possible alternative to divorce in Missouri

When your marriage starts to go south, you might decide that you just can't fight for it any longer. One option that you have is to separate from your spouse. In Missouri, you can file for a legal separation. This has some of the same benefits of divorce without having to actually get a divorce.

Many people opt to file for a legal separation because of the children or because of finances. In some cases, people opt for a legal separation because of insurance or similar points. Regardless of the reason why you might want a legal separation, you should learn about the specifics of it so that you can determine if this is an option for your case.

Is selling your home the best choice during divorce?

As your divorce draws near, you start thinking about selling the home. It's gut-wrenching. For the last decade, you've been making memories in that house. Selling it almost feels like a more final end to the relationship than the divorce itself. You're really moving on.

Though it can be hard to do emotionally, you may find that your best option is to sell the house. After all, you have to split up your assets. If you make $40,000 selling the house, you can take $20,000, your spouse can take $20,000 and it's done.

Understand some basics of child custody in Missouri

Having to work out child custody agreements is something that is difficult for parents. In Missouri, as in other states, the focus of child custody cases is what is in the child's best interests. There are some important things you should know if you are facing a child custody case in Missouri.

First, there are different types of custody that are recognized in this state. One is legal custody, which means the right of a parent to make decisions for the child. The other is physical custody, which means the parent who has the child with him or her. Third-party custody is also possible, but not as common in child custody cases.

Single parent adoptions are often possible

Long gone are the days when only couples could adopt a child. Now, single parents are turning to adoption to provide a loving home for a child who would otherwise be stuck in the foster care system. These men and women should be sure that they are prepared for the process and for the responsibilities that come with these adoptions.

One thing that a single person has to think about is how they are going to handle having a child in the home. Once the adoption is finalized, the adopted child is the sole responsibility of the adoptive parent. This is a lifelong commitment to the child.

3 tips for when you need a restraining order

Domestic violence is a serious and frightening occurrence. It affects men and women of all races, backgrounds and ages. According to the Huffington Post, over 38 million women have experienced physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

In circumstances such as these, a restraining order is very likely a necessity. The following tips are important to keep in mind when navigating such a difficult situation.

Dividing up restricted stocks and stock options when divorcing

Settling finances in a divorce, especially one where high assets like investment accounts or retirement funds are involved, can be quite complex. What makes divorces with these types of assets so hard to settle is that they involve financial resources that are hard to assign valuations to or that are hard to divide.

Among two of the more complicated types attorneys are faced with helping negotiate a settlement on are stock options or restricted stocks.

When does a domestic partnership end?

The ending of a domestic partnership might not be that different from the ending of a divorce. In this sense, partners will need to make decisions and come to agreement with regard to asset division, child custody and other divorce-related concerns. Domestic partners, however, will not have the same kinds of legal protections that the partners in a marriage have.

A domestic partnership will usually end when one of the following scenarios happens:

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