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St. Louis MO Custody and Visitation Law Blog

Legislative bills can complicate child custody and relocation

Divorce can be a difficult process. Regardless of the circumstances, the ending of a marriage can be an emotionally draining period of time. Once the decision to divorce has been made, Missouri spouses have to make the transition toward living independently, which may sometimes result in one of the parties having to relocate. Moving after a divorce can result in added stress, especially if children are involved. Understanding state laws regarding child custody and relocation can help a parent to avoid a violation, which could result in unfavorable changes to his or her custody or visitation rights.

A recent bill that another state proposed could have limited the ability of custodial parents from relocating with their children. The bill in question would have limited a custodial parent from moving more than 10 miles from his or her current residence without first getting approval from the non-custodial parent. This would have been a drastic change from the state's current relocation law, which only requires the notice for relocations greater than 100 miles.

Grandparents' rights a growing issue in divorce cases

There are a growing number of grandparents who are raising their children, in Missouri and across the country, bringing this issue of grandparents' rights into the national spotlight. Typically, this is an issue that is commonly seen during divorce cases. However, grandparents' rights often come into question when the biological parents are unable to care for their children, and grandparents feel that they need to become involved.

There are many reasons why Missouri grandparents could end up parenting their grandchildren. Possible reasons can include that a parent is in jail, dealing with addiction, facing physical disabilities or more. Many times, these arrangements are simply verbal or understood within the family, but legal guardianship is not formally arranged. This can be a problem when there is a medical emergency with the child or a disagreement between the parents and the grandparents.

Fight for fathers' rights becoming more complicated

Fathers' rights have always been a complicated issue, especially for children who are born to unmarried parents. Recently, another state has banned unmarried fathers from the delivery room, bringing into focus fathers' rights across the country. Missouri fathers may be wondering how to fight for their rights as fathers, especially in complicated custody cases.

It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of children born are to unwed parents. This means that fathers may have difficulty getting basic parental rights, including seeing their children after birth, parenting time, notification of delivery and more. As laws restricting the rights of fathers pass in other states, it could indicate that Missouri fathers may have to take concerted legal steps to fight for certain rights.

Social media can have an impact on child custody fights

It is no secret to Missouri readers that child custody battles can be difficult and time-consuming. Many divorcing couples do not realize that even simple messages on social media can have a direct impact on child custody cases. With the increase of Americans using social media, poorly timed or inappropriate messages on Facebook or Twitter can have a legal impact.

Nothing on the internet can be assumed private. Even a Facebook post directed to friends can be seen and taken out of context. It is an increasingly common trend to see that social media use be used in court as one spouse battles another over divorce issues.

Missouri man fights state over child support orders

A Missouri man is waging a legal battle against the state over disputed child support orders. The man claims that he does not owe any further child support, but that his ex-wife is demanding more. Recently, he received additional child support orders from the state. He claims that he should not owe more money.

The man's original divorce took place in 2005. The custody situation was complicated, but the man states that he is currently caught up on any support he could possibly owe. He believes that his ex-wife is now attempting to collect more money for a child who does not actually live with her. Not long after receiving the orders to pay more, he says that the state collected $4,500 from his account.

Can a child custody agreement be affected by parents' actions?

Child custody agreements are often hard-fought and come after a long legal process. Because they can be highly contentious, it is important to remember that Missouri parents should consider how their personal lives could affect child custody agreements. It is suggested that the dating lives of parents could actually become the center of a court battle.

When a parent starts dating after a divorce, or even during the divorce process, it can be difficult for all parties. Children may not know how to handle the new dating habits of a parent. The other parent may feel that this could be disruptive to the child's well-being, bringing the issue back to court for further discussion. When a Missouri family separates, it is always important to consider the emotional impact of any decision. This can include dating and how the former spouse or minor children may react.

Matthew Knowles gets drop in child support amount he must pay

Having a baby certainly may be an exciting experience, but it also can be a stressful one due to the expenses associated with rearing a child. The anxiety may be even stronger for an individual who feels that he or she is getting no assistance from the other parent of the child. Child support is designed to make sure that even when the two parents refuse to stay together for the sake of the child, the child's financial needs continue to be met. How much ends up being paid in child support in our state is determined by the judge in a Missouri court.

In a recent out-of-state situation, a high-profile entertainer was able to get the amount he pays in child support reduced. Matthew Knowles, the father and former manager of Beyonce Knowles, previously had to pay actress Alexsandra Wright $12,000 per month. That total has been dropped to $2,500 monthly.

Collecting unpaid child support a big issue in Missouri

No state has a perfect record of collecting unpaid child support or even punishing the non-custodial parents who do not pay. Most readers are probably not aware that Missouri ranks 41st in the nation in terms of collecting child support. Our state is 37th in the country in terms of parents who do not pay. In many cases that the state tracks, the non-custodial parents' financial circumstances are such that they simply cannot make the payments.

While the state tries to enforce child support payments, it often does nothing to help matters. Non-custodial parents who are unemployed or underemployed cannot meet their obligations. If they are jailed for non-payment of child support, they still cannot work and end up accruing even more in payments.

Fathers' rights are important to Missouri fathers

Divorce can be difficult for many couples. For fathers who are trying to maintain their fathers' rights, it can be even more difficult if they aren't aware of how to navigate the process. Missouri fathers may find a recent article discussing some of the most common mistakes made applicable to their own situations.

Sometimes fathers are willing to surrender some of their rights in order to keep from going to family court. Or maybe they would rather settle things quickly and don't fully understand their rights before they sign the final paperwork and could have received more time with their children. One of the things the article recommended was making sure that fathers are in fact aware of what they are entitled to regarding time with their children and to be patient in order to receive the most time possible.

Child support may be ordered after paternity test

Missouri parents may be accustomed to the thought of paying child support. For those who have a standard child support agreement, there may not be a need to discuss the topic. However, a recent article has raised questions about the role of a father who just found out he had a child.

The man lived with his girlfriend for a long period of time. Their breakup occurred during the time the girlfriend found out she was pregnant. The girlfriend wanted the baby, but the father did not and instead requested that the girlfriend terminate the pregnancy. The child is now 3 years of age and the mother is asking for child support.

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