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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 to 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…]

Furry Family Members Heighten Emotional Divorce Disputes

Bardol5For some couples, a pet is one of the first things they share. By purchasing a cat, dog, or other household pet, two crazy newlyweds become a family. Pairs bond over picking what to name their furry friend. They divide up the responsibilities, like vet visits, feedings, and dog walks.

All of a sudden, the love you share with each other is now shared with a new family member–your pet. Although in your eyes, these loveable animals are members of the family and almost equivalent to children, in the eyes of the law, they are still considered property.

This becomes especially evident when a couple begins the divorce process.

According to a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been a distinct increase in pet custody battles. Amongst all household pets, dogs are quarreled over the most during divorce. And even though divorce courts still considers them to be property, that has not stopped some judges from allowing pet custody cases, reports 22 percent of the surveyed attorneys. [Read more…]

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 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…]