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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

14 parents arrested in recent child support sweep

Paying court-ordered child support is an important thing for parents to keep up on. Not only does paying child support ensure that one's children are adequately being taken care of financially, it can also help to avoid serious legal problems in Missouri or in any other state. This is the message one county government decided to send in a recent sweep operation aimed at parents who were behind on their child support payments.

The county sheriff's department recently conducted a sweep operation in mid-September. The sweep, which had taken place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., was aimed at 45 individuals who currently had outstanding warrants for not paying their child support. The sheriff's department arrested 14 people during the operation. Also, approximately $7,000 had been collected during the sweep.

Man loses medical license over child support arrearage

There are likely as many parenting styles in Missouri as there are parents. Regardless of the approach that a parent may take to raise his or her children, it is important that every parent take responsibility for the emotional and physical well-being of their children. This includes making court-ordered child support payments when applicable. In addition to the potential harm to the child, there can be serious consequences for failing to make such payments, including the loss of professional licenses, as one out-of-state man has recently learned.

Court records indicate that the man's former wife has taken him to court several times over the course of the last nine years, in an attempt to hold him accountable for the missing payments. He reportedly owes over $100,000 in payments. The state has recently taken drastic measures to attempt to force him to pay.

Protecting the child custody rights of divorced parents

In past times, child custody was almost always granted to the mother in the event of a divorce. Now that divorce is more prevalent in a progressive society, it is only natural that child custody arrangements should change as well. It is now more common to have arrangements that preserve the best interests of the children, with shared custody and joint parenting plans.

There is plenty of evidence validating the claim that cooperative parenting is better for the children. Missouri parents can work together to draft a parenting plan outlining education plans, religious preferences and other details that are important to the individual situation. Despite the benefit of a co-parenting plan, a family law judge still has the right and ability to veto these plans.

The latest in Jason Patric's fathers' rights case

Missouri readers may have followed the highly publicized case involving the famous actor Jason Patric and fathers' rights. There has been wide interest in this case because the actor is battling the mother of his baby over custody and visitation with the couple's 4-year-old son. The fathers' rights case is especially complex because their young son was born after he provided sperm for the mother at a time when they were not together as a couple.

The couple was not married at the time that the boy was born, but Mr. Patric is the biological father of the child. Since he was born, the couple has broken up again and become embattled in disagreements over his rights as a father for a child born out-of-wedlock. The ruling in this case could set a precedent for other couples in non-traditional families, including parents who are not married.

Collaborative divorce: easing tensions over child custody

The tension of determining child custody can make the divorce process complicated and difficult for all parties. While this is not possible for every situation, Missouri couples may find that collaborative divorce can be a beneficial way to come to amicable solutions. Collaborative divorce can also be a method by which couples determine child custody agreements and more.

Collaborative divorce is a divorce in which a couple benefits from the services of several parties. This can include attorneys, financial advisors, divorce coaches and child specialists. This team offers practical and emotional support during a difficult time, helping a couple make the most beneficial decisions after careful consideration.

Military duties and child custody battles

Military personnel are often deployed for months or years at a time, which can make child custody battles complicated. Even when they are not deployed, training exercises can last for days or weeks and require travel. Military men and women have certain rights granted to them during a divorce and/or child custody battle, which should protect their interests in case of deployment or travel assignments.

Missouri readers may be interested in a case from another state involving a sailor embroiled in a child custody battle with his ex-wife. A judge threatened to imprison the sailor after he failed to show up for a custody hearing. However, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is intended to grant extra time in such situations for those who may be deployed and unable to attend hearings.

Is it possible to work through child custody issues peacefully?

Missouri parents know that every divorce is difficult and every divorcing parent wants the most beneficial child custody agreement. Despite the emotional and financial complexity of a divorce, it is possible to have a divorce that is peaceful and optimal for all parties. When individuals are aware of their rights and a couple is willing to work together on a child custody agreement, the process can be faster and smoother.

As Missouri couples know, working together through mediation may not always be an option. One or both spouses may be completely unwilling to work together on any aspect of the divorce agreement. However, a couple can choose to keep the children as their main priority, even when the situation is contentious. First of all, parents can work with their respective legal teams to ensure that the children are disrupted as little as possible despite the divorce.

Changing a child custody agreement after a divorce

When going through a divorce, Missouri couples know that it can be extremely difficult to work through all of the details of a divorce agreement. For couples with children, it can be very challenging to come to a child custody agreement, no matter how amicable the process may be. However, it can be equally challenging when a child custody agreement needs to be changed after the divorce is finalized.

There are many reasons why an agreement should be changed. Relocation, remarriage, preferred school zones or the request of the child could contribute to the necessity of having an agreement redrafted. In some cases, a child could desire to have a stronger connection with the other parent. What are the options for divorced Missouri parents when a child wishes to live with the other parent?

Complicated child custody case continues for Sherri Shepherd

Missouri readers may be familiar with the child custody battle of Sherri Shepherd, a well-known television personality. Her highly-public divorce has made headlines across the country, mostly because of the intense child custody battle ensuing between her and her ex-spouse. One of the main concerns for the contention is the fact that a surrogate is currently carrying the couple's child, due in July.

The child was conceived before the couple separated, but the egg used was not from Ms. Shepherd. Because the sperm donor is her ex-spouse, a battle has erupted over child custody and which parent should pay and/or receive child support. A recent report claims that Ms. Shepherd is now refusing to accept the child as legally hers, claiming that her husband tricked her into signing the surrogate contract.

Parental rights could be compromised by online activity

Parental rights issues are often the center of contentious divorces, with both parties fighting for their own desired outcome. Divorces usually center on how to divide money and how to handle child custody, but Missouri parents often fail to realize how their online and social media activity can affect the outcome of a case. It is usually beneficial to understand the steps to take to ensure that online activity does not play a role in parental rights.

When parents talk about their divorce or marital issues on Facebook or Twitter, it can be surprising to learn that the other spouse can use that against them during a divorce. In a particularly contentious divorce, it is important to change passwords to all online accounts to prevent any issues. One of the main reasons that this is important is that almost 70 percent of couples share at least one online account or password.

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