Debts must also be considered in arriving at a fair division of property. Tax considerations often affect the fairness of a division as well. For example, the capital gains on assets such as stock should be calculated when offsetting against an asset such as a bank account which can be liquidated with no capital gains. In addition, the former spouse must be entitled to receive his or her own retirement or disability benefit.
If the former spouse is eligible for a benefit, but has not yet applied for it, the divorced spouse can still receive a benefit if he or she meets eligibility requirements above and has been divorced from the former spouse for at least two years. A person can receive benefits as a surviving divorced spouse on Social Security record of a former spouse who died fully insured, if he or she:.
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If the surviving divorced spouse age 60 or over applying for benefits remarried after age 60, or after age 50 and at the time of remarriage was entitled to disability benefits, we disregard the marriage. The benefits paid to a divorced spouse or a surviving divorced spouse will not affect the benefit amount paid to the other family members who receive benefits on the same record. If you would like to receive an estimate of benefits you may receive as a divorced spouse or a surviving divorced spouse, you may contact our representatives at our toll-free number, They may be able to provide you with this information over the telephone.
If you prefer, you may visit one of our offices. You can get the address and directions to your nearest office from the Social Security Office Locator that is available on the Internet. Guidelines for Parents During Divorce Proceedings.
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What are the grounds for divorce in Missouri? The usual ground is irreconcilable differences with your spouse.
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In a few cases it may be appropriate to allege other grounds. What is a dissolution? You or your spouse must have been a resident of Missouri for the 90 days immediately preceding filing the petition for a dissolution. Is there a waiting period to get the dissolution?
No dissolution can be granted until at least 30 days after a Petition for Dissolution has been filed. Generally, however, you must wait 30 days from the date the other spouse officially receives a copy of the petition. How does my spouse learn about the dissolution? After the petition is filed, the spouse must receive proper notification.
There are several ways to accomplish this. A process server can deliver a copy of the petition to the spouse. Another way is to have the spouse sign a document called an Entry of Appearance and Waiver. An Entry of Appearance acknowledges receipt of the Petition and eliminates the requirement of having someone officially hand the papers to the spouse. Can we both use one lawyer?
A lawyer cannot ethically represent competing interests. A dissolution necessarily involves some matters which benefit one spouse and are a detriment the other. Therefore, an attorney can only represent one person in a dissolution. What should I do about credit cards? If you hold joint credit cards, or the account is held in your name and your spouse is entitled to use the account, then you are still liable for all charges made. If you believe that this will be a problem and that your spouse may run up a large balance on such an account, then you should call us to discuss this situation, and we will determine whether or not you should contact all credit card companies to close the account or limit the persons entitled to use the account.
If one spouse disputes any of these matters and an agreement is not eventually reached, a trial will be necessary. How do I find out if my spouse has hidden money? The law provides numerous tools to locate assets; however, finding hidden money can be a daunting task. Depositions, Interrogatories and Production of Documents requests are the most common tools used to discover assets. The Court requires submission of complete financial information regarding the assets and debts of the marriage so that the judge can make an intelligent decision regarding the division of these assets and debts, if the spouses cannot agree on how to divide them.
How to File Divorce in Missouri
Detailed information is also necessary with a written agreement so that the property can be specifically and accurately described in the agreement. What about a court date? The absolute minimum is 31 days. We will do everything possible to have your case heard as soon as possible. You do not need character witnesses. Appropriate dress should always be worn when you are appearing in court.
We will advise you well in advance of court dates and locations. You must not be late when going to court! When is the dissolution final? A dissolution is final on the date the Judgment of Dissolution is signed by the Judge. What about dating while the divorce is pending? You are married until your marriage is dissolved by the judge. We recommend you refrain from dating. What is Maintenance? Maintenance is money paid by a spouse to a former spouse to assist in the support of the ex-spouse. Such maintenance terminates on the death of either spouse, or the marriage of the receiving spouse.
It can be modifiable or non-modifiable and can be for a set number of months or years. There are no mandatory guidelines or charts to determine how much maintenance is appropriate. Generally, maintenance is taxable to the spouse who receives it and deductible by the paying spouse. How do we divide the property? There is no fixed way to determine how to divide the property. Missouri has two major categories of property in a dissolution context: marital and non-marital. These types of property are established by statute and interpreted and analyzed by various appellate Court decisions. Nonmarital property is all property: Acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent; Acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent; Acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation; Excluded by valid agreement of the parties; and The increase in the value of property acquired prior to the marriage or pursuant to 1 through 4 above unless marital assets including labor have contributed to such increases and then only to the extent of such contributions.
Divorce In Missouri
Section The Court divides the marital property in a manner that is just and equitable based on the following: The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property becomes effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live in it for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of the children; The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; The value of the nonmarital property of each spouse; The conduct of the parties during the marriage; Custodial arrangements for minor children; Any other relevant factors.
What happens to joint debts? The Missouri statute which requires the Court to divide marital property does not mention debts. The Court may assess responsibility for the debts between the spouses but is not required to do so. Even if your spouse agrees to pay a joint debt or the judge orders the spouse to pay the joint debt, that liability remains a joint obligation to the creditor. An important consideration regarding joint debts is that if a spouse agrees to pay the debt, or the Court orders it paid, the other spouse will still be responsible for the debt if it is not paid.
If you and your partner had a child together when you were married, and your marriage was annulled afterward, both parents are still financially responsible for the child or children and child support payments may be required. There are a variety of ADR methods available in divorce courts throughout the U. In Missouri, the ADR method that is recommended is mediation. During mediation a neutral third party will work with both husband and wife to reach mutually agreed upon decisions regarding child custody, division of property and other matters.
The mediator helps the couple communicate and does not take sides.
On occasion, a judge will order a couple into mediation if the couple is having a particularly difficult time with a contentious issue. It is preferred that the parents agree on a child custody arrangement that the court will then approve, however, if they cannot decide then the court will make the determination.
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Gone are the days when the children automatically went into the physical custody of the mother. Today, joint or shared custody is preferred. The types of child custody options in Missouri include:. It states that the parenting plan should include provisions regarding:. Both parents are considered responsible for support of their children. The financial amount each one is responsible for will depend upon several factors, including how many children exist from the marriage, the gross income of each parent, and whether or not one of the parents has sole physical custody.
Although the state provides a formula to determine child support, an accurate estimate of what a spouse may receive or be required to pay is difficult to determine without the assistance of an attorney. Once a child support amount has been determined, the court can enforce this payment. The spouse who has not received the child support payments can go to the court and ask for child support enforcement.
Enforcement measures include wage garnishment, withholding of federal income tax refunds, ordering employers to enroll children in health care coverage plans and other measures. Either parent can request a termination of child support, although withholding child support payments is not permitted. A custodial parent is not allowed to withhold visitation as a consequence of child support payments not being made. Likewise, a noncustodial parent is not allowed to withhold child support payments if visitation privileges are being denied.
These issues must be handled through the court system and the advice of an attorney is recommended. Occasionally, paternity will need to be established prior to requesting either child support payments or visitation rights. An involuntary paternity can be ordered by the court and accomplished by DNA testing via a simple mouth swab. A voluntary paternity determination can be made if both parents sign a voluntary acknowledgement. Paternity is automatically determined if the parents are married when the child is born, or if the child is born within days of separation, divorce, annulment or death of the father.
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