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Are Couples Growing Older or Growing Apart?

old couple While at the alter saying those fateful vows, visions of growing old together float through your head. As you utter each promise, you imagine you and your partner sitting on the porch in rocking chairs watching the time fly by, moving together in perfect sync.

For many couples, growing old, in reality, means growing apart. As the anniversaries rack up, so do these couples’ differences, and suddenly you are no longer the same people you were forty years ago on your wedding day. Out of respect for the longevity, many take measures like marriage counseling to try to repair what is broken.  [Read more…]

How do we Make Joint Custody Work for our Family?

babyAfter the custody agreement is settled, you and your ex-spouse decide that for your children’s sake, joint custody is the best option for you. Allowing both of you to remain in their lives on a daily basis is important to all. But you’ve heard the sad tales of divorced families headed toward troubles, sparked by disorganization and plagued by miscommunication. [Read more…]

Head to a St. Louis Cardinals Game

Therest. louis cardinals aren’t many things I enjoy more than dusting off my baseball cap, finding my old glove, and heading down to the infamous Busch Stadium for a St. Louis Cardinals game.  While watching the game on television after a long day is quite satisfying, there is nothing like sitting under those bright lights and hearing the umpire yell, “Play ball!” [Read more…]

Back to School Tips–Divorce and Parenting

back to schoolWhen summer ends, it signifies the commencement of the new school year. When a marriage ends, it means the beginning of the ongoing battle known as child custody arrangements.

While the Family Court of St. Louis City mandates that all parents going through a divorce attend a Parent Education Class, these classes don’t teach you everything. When you are helping your child cope with the new changes in their life, there are some hardships for which you truly can’t prepare them.

According to a recent blog post from the Huffington Post, one of the most confusing and difficult times in a divorce-affected family’s life is the beginning of the school year. This time of year brings a new schedule chock full of pick-ups and drop-offs for extracurricular activities, along with a myriad of parent-teacher meetings. Whether your child custody arrangement settlement went smoothly or was rocky, this time of year will be trying for all parties involved. [Read more…]

Missouri Lawyers Weekly | Stephen Bardol Selected as Winner

Recently our own Stephen Bardol was selected as a winner in the overall Up & Coming class by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.  A total of 54 Missouri attorneys will be honored among the 2014 class for Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s annual Up & Coming event.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly editors selected the winners based on their demonstration of excellence and their potential to make a difference in the legal profession and their communities. The awards recognize lawyers who are 40 or younger, or within the first 10 years of practice.

 

Family Law Glossary

Family law matters are confusing and can be difficult to navigate. Below are some terms frequently used in Missouri family law practices.

Adoption: Legal rights and duties of parenting are transferred from the biological parents or the court system to a new parent or set of parents.

Adult Order of Protection: This order can be filed to protect anyone over the age of 17 who was threatened, abused, or stalked.

Estate Plan: When you create an estate plan, you decide what will happen to your property and assets after you die. After divorcing, it is important to readdress your estate plan to make sure your property is going to proper parties, possibly not including your former spouse.

Parent Education Classes: When parents are going through a divorce, legal separation, or paternity case, these education classes are mandated by Missouri courts.

Full Order of Protection: One year legal protection for victims of abuse, harassment, or stalking from a member of their household.

Foreign Order of Protection: When you move across the state border, while having a Full Order of Protection, your Order would be deemed foreign in the new state of residence.

Motion for Family Access: When custody dispute decisions are not followed, it is best to get the court involved by filing a motion for family access. This will cause a speedy hearing to figure out the issues and reprimand the misbehaving parties.

Exchange Center Program: This is a Court regulated place where parents can exchange the children during a custody switch.

Ex Parte Order of Protection: When a victim of domestic violence, the court date sometimes does not come soon enough. When a victim is in danger, this temporary order is issued to keep the victim safe until the hearing.

Independent Placement Adoption: Sometimes called a private adoption, this occurs when parents looking to adopt find birth parents on their own and do not operate through an agency or state organization.

Interstate Adoption: When parents are adopting a child from another state, there are certain regulations they must follow not only in the state they reside in, but in the state they are adopting from.

Agency Adoption: This is the most common way to adopt. Agencies facilitate adoption and provide assistance throughout the entire process. The agency can be private or public.

Child Order of Protection: When a child gets caught in the middle of a domestic violence dispute or is the victim, this order provides security to the child and protection from the accused party.

Child Support: When there is a divorce or the parents aren’t married, the parent who does not have sole custody of the child pays a required amount to assist with providing for the child.

Contempt of Court: When a party does not follow the decision or does not pay the mandated fees after a custody, domestic violence, or divorce case, they are in “contempt of court.” This brings the problem into the eyes of the court.

Visitation: This is the court given right of a parent or grandparent to temporarily visit with a child. This is commonly given during or after custody disputes.

Divorce: The dissolution of marriage by the court. When this occurs, the obligations and privileges that accompany marriage are now null and void.

Legal Separation: This is quite similar to divorce, however, the main difference is that couples can more easily reunite down the road. Some have the misconception that a couple must be legally separated before divorcing. A legal separation can be motioned to become a divorce after 90 days, however.

Domestic Violence: Any attempt to attack or assault another member of your family or household. This includes stalking, sexual assault, kidnapping, and harassment.

Emancipation: A child under the age of 18 becomes emancipated and parental legal obligations cease. This would include child support.

Paternity: This is the proof that a father is the biological parent of a child.

Prenuptial Agreement: Before a marriage, this provides a plan for assets and property in case the marriage ends.

Postnuptial Agreement: When a couple is married but does not have a prenuptial agreement, they can create a plan for assets and property, just in case the marriage ends. Property Division:

Spousal Support: After a divorce or separation, some parties are required to provide money or other support to their former spouse.

Temporary Restraining Order: A victim of domestic violence can be in danger of further violence while waiting for the trial determining whether or not they receive an Order of Protection. In this case, a temporary restraining order is provided.

Uncontested Divorce: When a couple comes to agreement and the divorce does not go to trial, it is deemed uncontested. This lessens costs and provides for a more amicable process.

Contested Divorce: When a divorce case goes to trial and there are disagreements, this would be considered to be contested.

Child Support Calculator

Click on the link below to receive an estimate on the amount of child support that may be ordered in your case. This calculator is for informational and educational purposes only. The amount of child support a court will order for any particular case may be different from the amount estimated by the calculator. Contact our office today if you have specific questions about your case.

Child Support Calculator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What to Expect in Your Initial Divorce Consultation

Istock revisedYour initial divorce consultation can seem like an intimidating experience. In reality, you will find that this visit differs from visits with other professionals. For instance, you will not find yourself spending time in a waiting room with others, or filling out sheets without assistance. Your attorney realizes that confidentiality is key, and will usually make his or her office environment as quiet and private as possible during your visit.

Most people are very confused about what they should bring to an initial consultation with their divorce attorney. Usually, it is perfectly okay to not bring a single thing. Your attorney will mainly be discussing the divorce process with you, and other items may be left for later. However, if you would like to provide information up front in order to move the process along, here are some good things to bring with you: [Read more…]

Guardian ad Litems

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What is a Guardian ad Litem?

A Guardian ad Litem or GAL is an attorney who is appointed by the judge to look after the best interests of your child. In Missouri, Guardians complete a special set of classes and legal training in order to adequately represent your child’s needs. While a Guardian ad Litem is not appointed in every child custody case, they can be appointed if allegations of abuse or neglect are made, or if the judge deems a GAL’s presence to be necessary for other purposes. A Guardian can also be appointed at the request of one of the parties. [Read more…]

Divorce and Children: How to Break the News

Afraid girlBreaking the news about your divorce to your children is one of the most stressful parts of the divorce process. Many parents spend weeks contemplating ideas on how to tell their children that their mom and dad are splitting up. Here are some tips on how to tell your child about the situation. [Read more…]