DIVORCE

WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH AND TAKE SO LONG TO GET DIVORCED when it is so cheap and so easy to get married?
A: Getting married involves the union of two people. Getting divorced involves dissolving that union, in addition to dividing the marital assets. This division can be complicated by the amount of assets, the types of assets and the means of acquiring the assets. Therefore, ALL of the assets, whether considered marital or non-marital, must be listed and valued. If there are minor children born of the marriage, then both parties are required to file proposed parenting plans addressing the issues of physical custody, legal custody, schedules of parenting time, health insurance for the children and child support. Both parties’ income and expenses must be fully disclosed, as it affects child support and the possibility of spousal maintenance.
Divorce is one of the most important events of a person’s life. It affects one’s future relationship with their children, their financial future and all of their property.

WHAT DETERMINES MY CHANCES FOR WINNING CUSTODY?
A: The Missouri Supreme Court mandate regarding the best interests of children involved in custody disputes ensures the Judge will be focused on one thing… the Best Interests of your child. You should too. If you stay focused on your child’s Best Interests there will be no loser.
Your child’s other parent was likely the love of your life at one point. Remember this: that person will be, along with you, the love of your child’s life forever! You would never want to see your child suffer. Believe me, your child will suffer if your aim is to see your “ex” suffer. Keep your focus on the Best Interests of the child.
WHAT DOES THE JUDGE LOOK AT TO DETERMINE MY CHILD’S BEST INTERESTS?
A: Missouri Revised Statute Section 452.375 sets out eight factors that the Court must consider in its custody determination. They are:
1) The wishes of the parents.
2)

DOES THE JUDGE TAKE MY OWN LIVING EXPENSES INTO CONSIDERATION BEFORE DECIDING HOW MUCH CHILD SUPPORT TO ORDER?
A: In a word, no. Child Support in Missouri is based upon the gross income of both parties. If the party paying child support earns substantially more than the other, the child support will serve to enhance the child’s lifestyle, which may as a matter of reality also enhance the lifestyle of the parent receiving child support. On the other hand, if the party receiving child support earns substantially more than the other, the amount of child support they receive will be accordingly less. The object is to leave the children with as near as possible the lifestyle they would have enjoyed had their parents not divorced.

WHAT CAN I DO WHEN THE AMOUNT OF CHILD SUPPORT I HAVE TO PAY DOES NOT LEAVE ME ENOUGH TO PAY MY OWN BILLS?
A: One of the ugly truths about divorce is that the parties’ combined marital income must suddenly support two separate households. Since the Court’s focus is on the Best Interests of any children involved, the goal is to disrupt their lives as little as possible.
The adults can make their own decisions and plan and build their own futures. The children sit as innocent witnesses to the separation of their parents, and their Best Interests require the Court to maintain as much stability in the children’s lives as possible. This includes economic stability. Therefore, the Missouri State Legislature has created a calculation to determine the Presumed Amount of Child Support.
The presumed amount is based upon the gross incomes of both parents. Gross income means before expenses are deducted, but think about it – if it were otherwise,