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Should You Stay Together for the Kids?

Kids ImageA very common questions parents ask before considering divorce is “Should we stay together for the kids?” Many moms and dads are reluctant to separate due to the potential trauma their divorce could have on their children.  The thought of watching your child go through the emotional and psychological process of divorce is enough to make some people try and “stick it out”.

However, oftentimes, staying together for the kids has its own set of (potentially worse) consequences.  Living in a home with parents who do not speak, are not involved in one another’s lives, or have loud, frequent arguments, can be much more stressful on a child than the option of living in two separate homes.  With separate homes brings a less combative environment and, eventually, parents who are at ease.

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The Power of a PDL Motion

25874107431_e4e4283128What is a PDL Motion?

The initialism PDL stands for “pendente lite,” latin for “temporary”.  Divorce can be a lengthy process.  Too often, spouses are left to their own devices when it comes to finances, the house, cars, and their children.  Figuring out how to divide the household while a divorce is pending can be extremely stressful for couples parting ways.  This is where a PDL can help.

A PDL motion can be filed to ask the court for temporary assistance in a divorce case. It can also apply to paternity cases as well, although the law is a bit murkier on that topic.

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Will I Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance?


Spousal Maintenance, also known as alimony, is payment made by a husband or wife to their former spouse following their divorce. In Missouri, there is not a set calculation to determine Spousal Maintenance. Judges typically evaluate case-by-case whether or not you will be paying (or receiving) maintenance, and, if so, how much. The following are some factors that contribute to most spousal maintenance decisions:

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Risk Factors That May Lead to Divorce


Statistically speaking, approximately 50% of marriages will end in divorce. However, recent studies show that this “typical” percentage can be affected by a multitude of factors. The following are categories that often play a statistical role in the odds of a marriages success.

1. Age

Were you married as a late teen? Early twenties? Then your odds for divorce may be higher than your older counterparts. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, couples who marry between the ages of 20 and 25 increase their chance of divorce to 60%. Conversely, couples who marry after the age of 25 decrease their risk of divorce by almost 25%.

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Courtroom Etiquette: Some Helpful Tips for a Good Impression

hammer-620011_960_720For Judges, the court room is a second home.  So, when visitors arrive in a court of law and don’t practice proper etiquette and manners, the Judge is often the first person to notice.  Typically, Judges and attorneys do not expect every visitor to know the professional intricacies of a court room.  However, they do expect visitors to put forth their best efforts.  The following are some tips on maintaining a respectable, professional appearance while in court:

  1. Arrival: Arriving early is very important.  Court is oftentimes very difficult for visitors to navigate.  Walking by nearly-identical rooms amongst a crowd of strangers can cause unexpected delays.  Arriving early gives you the benefit of familiarizing yourself with the courtroom.  It also allows you a few moments to speak with your attorney and review important information.
  2. Attire: The two main words that should come to mind are “professional and clean”. The hair on your head and face should be tidy and groomed.  If you own a suit, wear one.  If you do not, dress as if you were attending church in your “Sunday’s Best”.  Also, be sure to avoid distracting jewelry pieces.  A Judge may become annoyed if you begin nervously playing with a large necklace or clunky bracelets.
  3. Mannerisms: Knowing what to do if the Judge addresses you can be nerve-wracking. If a Judge addresses you, stand up.  If their address requires you to respond, be sure to always refer to the Judge as “Your Honor”.  This shows your respect for the Judge and his or her courtroom.  Additionally, keep your reactions to what you hear in the courtroom appropriate.  Avoid eye rolling, interrupting, swearing, or loud scoffs of protest when another person is speaking.

The Map of a Divorce

MapIf you are considering divorce, then the only knowledge you have is likely from reading information on the internet or meeting with your attorney. Once you understand the process though, you can get a better idea of where you are headed. We are here to walk you through the process:

Step 1:  Meet with an Attorney – When you have finally made the big decision that it is time to file for a divorce, the very first thing you must do is meet with an attorney. Many attorneys offer free or affordable consultations, so it is always wise to at least meet with an attorney.

Step 2: File the Case – Once you have found your lawyer of choice, then you must file the actual lawsuit with your local circuit court.  This typically includes filing a Petition for Divorce, financial statements and a filing fee.

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Divorce Through The Ages

divorcethroughtheages_infographicClick the following infographic to learn what Bardol Law Firm, LLC can teach you about divorce in the United States over the years. The infographic shows the pros and cons to different ages in your life and why being married at that particular age is a good or bad idea.

Myth or Fact?…About Missouri Divorce

woman with question mark1) It takes at least a month to get divorce.

Fact.  Missouri has a 30 day waiting period after a divorce case has been filed before the case can be finalized. This includes parties that have already reached settlement or that have an uncontested divorce.

2) A spouse can deny the other spouse a divorce.

Myth. Unfortunately, even if one spouse does not want to get divorces, the divorce is going to be pushed through.  In Missouri, the petitioning spouse must only show that the marriage is irretrievably broken to be granted the divorce. This is generally not a hard burden to meet as the petitioning spouse filing the divorce in the first place is a pretty clear sign that the marriage is broken. [Read more…]

Hamm’s Uneven Monetary Split Reminds us of Post-Divorce Financial Distress

money and divorceIn early November, the heat was on in Oklahoma City as a multimillion-dollar divorce finally came to a close. The marriage of CEO of Continental Resources, Harold Hamm, and his wife of 26 years, Sue Ann, was finally resolved.

Since the filing of papers, the media couldn’t seem get enough of the Hamm’s high profile (and high dollar) divorce. The scathing details about the split between the billionaire CEO and his wife did not go unnoticed, and for good reason, too.

The divorce papers were filed in 2012, and according to Mr. Hamm’s statements, this divorce was a long time coming. We learn from an article in the New York Times that despite their plentiful bank accounts, their marriage lacked love for at least ten years. The Beatles said it best: money can’t buy you love. But if you asked the Hamm’s, it certainly buys you a tumultuous, top dollar divorce. [Read more…]

Dealing with Domestic Violence – Is the NFL Doing Enough?

nfl footballDomestic violence is a dangerous family matter that goes from private to public in the blink of an eye. It is this raised eyebrow of awareness that puts big football names like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Adrian Peterson on the newsstands.

Seeing “NFL” and “domestic violence” trending in the same sentence is unfortunately nothing new. It seems that every year, we hear of a professional sports player being involved in a violent altercation with a family member. Revelations of their horrible acts invade our morning news. Images, videos, and past interviews are replayed and displayed. Fans anxiously wait to hear news of whether or not the players are removed from the team’s roster.

Every year, though, their names disappear from the headlines. Football season comes and goes, but the awareness of domestic violence should not. [Read more…]