The divorce process is never easy on anyone, especially children. Regardless of whether your divorce is acrimonious or not, children are often left feeling depressed, anxious and saddened over the impending loss of their family unit. As a parent, it is not uncommon to feel uncertain as to how to help your children emerge from your divorce feeling loved, supported and validated. The good news is that there are things you can do to help ease the process and make the experience a whole lot less traumatizing for your children. These are as follows:
As an experienced family law attorney in both Missouri and Kansas, I have seen numerous cases arise where a child is not born out of a marriage, the relationship between the unmarried parents ultimately ends, and the father is then prohibited by the unwed mother from seeing his children. If you have experienced this situation, it is important to understand that as a father, you have legal rights - once established - to see your children as well as to receive or be obligated to pay child support. However, the outcome of your paternity action, including your rights and obligations regarding child support and custody, all depends upon the specific set of circumstances unique to your case.
In Kansas, a divorce decree may award to either party something called maintenance, which refers to an amount set by the court to financially assist a spouse, whether in the form of a lump sum payment or on a monthly basis for an enumerated period of time. A court has significant discretion in determining whether or not a party must pay spousal support. Since there is no absolute right to receive maintenance, the court will consider numerous factors in determining one's entitlement to same, which include but are not limited to, the financial needs of the recipient spouse, the other spouse's ability to pay, the respective ages of the parties, the parties' current and future ability to earn income, the financial conditions of the parties, and whether the parties mishandled marital property (such as dissipating marital accounts and assets, etc.). Keep in mind however, that many counties within Kansas have developed their own guidelines and as such, it is important to speak with an attorney who can advise you of the specifics of your jurisdiction.
It goes without saying that getting a divorce can be both physically and emotionally taxing to all parties involved. As a result, it is easy to make mistakes that can end up creating huge legal headaches and expose you to costly legal claims by your spouse. For example, some people decide to represent themselves in order to save money, while others decide to engage in revengeful behavior towards a spouse, which can all create serious and permanent legal consequences. As a result, it is essential to consider the following advice when contemplating a divorce, such as:
Hypothetically speaking, say that you are on the brink of a divorce. Your wife is making you super angry and you've just about had it. Out of frustration, you send her a "threatening" text message, perhaps telling her you are going to take her for all she's worth. While at the time it seemed like a good idea to ruffle her feathers a bit, you may end up regretting this decision later on. Nowadays, courts have to constantly catch up with the advent of new technologies, and as such, are frequently facing questions of the admissibility of new forms of evidence, such as how to deal with text messages, emails, and even information rendered from GPS tracking device applications - now available on many of today's most popular cell phones.
Whether you think you and your spouse will remain together forever or not, it is nevertheless essential to take proactive measures to protect your separate property. Understandably, it is hard to contemplate getting a divorce, especially during the fun and exciting time spent planning your wedding and heading off to a remote island for your honeymoon. However, what happens when the honeymoon is over, your grandmother dies and leaves you $200,000 in her will. Or, you owned stock prior to taking the marital plunge and now think divorce is on the horizon? With approximately 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it is important to be familiar with how Missouri law treats this situation and also, what proactive steps you can take to protect your separate property and most importantly, to keep it that way.