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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…]

Can Spouses Share a Divorce Attorney?

kids eating ice creamMany people would like their divorce to be as quick, painless, and amicable as possible. To most, it would only seem logical to hire a single attorney to divide the assets and then call it a day. However, the divorce process follows a different path. A single attorney may not represent both the husband and the wife in court proceedings for many reasons. [Read more…]

Four Questions to Ask at Divorce Consultations

iStock_000022988541XSmallYour divorce consultation is important. It is the first step to starting the court process. Asking the proper questions can help reduce your stress while gauging the competence of your potential St. Louis divorce attorney. In particular, there are some key questions that may just give you a better idea of the road ahead and the lawyer who may be traveling that road with you.

[Read more…]

Social Media: How is it Affecting Your Divorce?

iStock_000010122252XSmallHow Social Media is Affecting Your Divorce

These days, it is very common for married couples to have joint or separate Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts. While all of these social outlets may be great and effective tools for communication, they can cause numerous issues during a divorce. In order to make the divorce less complicated, and to place less stress on your children, it is best to avoid any social media fights at all costs. Here are a few pointers on how to handle your social accounts during and after a divorce.

Separate all joint social media accounts- try to deactivate any accounts on Facebook or Twitter that you and your spouse may share. If you share a crucial e-mail address, agree to forward all important e-mails to new, separate accounts or existing separate accounts. [Read more…]

Child Custody: Who Decides?

iStock_000020005309XSmallDeciding Child Custody

Deciding child custody can be a long battle in some St. Louis divorce proceedings. Many parents have concerns that, especially in families with older children, the child may get to decide where he or she would like to live. The thought of having your child choose your spouse over you can be terrifying and heartbreaking.

In the state of Missouri, unless your child is over 18, he or she does not get to make the official decision of who will have custody over them. The decision will be made by you and your spouse, or by a judge. In the case of teenage children, however, the judge will usually take the child’s testimony into consideration when making the decision on legal and physical custody. [Read more…]

Child Support in Missouri Explained

iStock_000021832919XSmallChild support in Missouri can be a complex and frustrating process for parents (as well as many attorneys). The current system has a number of quirks and a number of flaws, which makes it a tricky transition for parents who are just starting out in the world of single parenthood.

How is Child Support Put in Place?

In Missouri, there are two methods by which child support is put in place. Support can either be established administratively through the State or it can be established through the Court system. Either of these routes can be effective. However, a Court Order will take precedence over an Administrative Order, and some parents choose to start in the Court system for that reason.

[Read more…]

Divorce: A General Timeline

clockA General Divorce Timeline

While each divorce presents its own unique issues and challenges, it is important for you and your spouse to familiarize yourselves with the general process. Familiarizing with the basic steps in divorce can help to make the transition smooth and free of surprise. [Read more…]

Co-Parenting During a Divorce

boy and handsCo-parenting during a divorce can be a difficult task. While it may be hard to maintain an ongoing partnership with your ex, co-parenting is the best way to ensure your children are receiving the best care possible. The following are some tips to help make the transition from Husband and Wife to Mom and Dad as smooth as possible. [Read more…]