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Melissa A. Featherston

Divorcing in January and how it could impact support arrangements

As Missouri readers know, it is not uncommon for couples to seek a divorce in January. For many reasons, couples facing the end of a marriage defer action over the holiday season, perhaps to spare the family emotional duress during an important time of year. As January filings typically increase after the first of the year, it is wise to acknowledge how the timing could impact support arrangements and other financial matters.

By January, the end-of-year income total will be available. When a person is seeking spousal support, or objecting to it, the income amounts will be critical to the court's decision. In the same manner, child support arrangements will be based on the needs of the children, as well as the financial capability of the parents. There is a very good chance that a parent's year-end income total will have an impact on a spousal or child support order.

Particularly for high-income couples, the fear of hiding assets is a legitimate concern. A party may hide valuable assets or delay end-of-year bonuses in order to keep the other spouse from his or her rightful share. In cases where finances are particularly complex, it is vital to have help from an experienced attorney.

Support arrangements are important as they may have a direct impact on the future of any Missouri individual considering divorce. Working with a lawyer is important in order to ensure that all property subject to division is accounted for and that support arrangements are fair and sustainable. A complete case evaluation is the best way to fully understand individual options.

Source: Forbes, "Should You Start Divorce Proceedings In January?", Jeff Landers, Jan. 26, 2016

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