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Kansas City Family Law Blog

Using 401K funds to pay child support

Missouri parents who are getting divorced, are already be divorced or who might have never married their child's other parent may need to understand their options for making child support payments. Regardless of a person's marital or financial situation, finding ways to incorporate this expense into a monthly budget can be difficult at times. One option that people could consider is leveraging their 401K account funds.

There is, however, a right and a wrong way of accessing 401K funds to pay child support. By simply taking an early pre-retirement distribution, an account owner may put themselves at risk of paying high early withdrawal penalties. As explained by the Internal Revenue Service, the use of a qualified domestic relations order may help people to avoid these penalties and thereby save much of their hard-earned savings.

Divorce and back-to-school season

31240724_S.jpgAs a parent, you may have a number of concerns as school season approaches. Perhaps you are trying to buy clothes and school supplies, or maybe your child is experiencing anxiety about returning to school. At Stange Law Firm, we know how Missouri families become stressed out over divorce. However, if you and your spouse are talking about ending your marriage around the time when your child will be heading back to school, it is particularly important for you to ensure that you take the right steps to make the transition less challenging during this time of year.

On the one hand, your child may experience certain emotions when they find out about your plans to divorce, such as depression or even anger. In order to do what you can to prevent these issues from interfering with their transition back to school and their performance in class, you may want to try to discuss your divorce with your child (or children) and answer any questions that come up. In fact, school season can create challenges for parents as well, especially those who are approaching the divorce process. For example, you might feel as if you have a lot on your plate because you are trying to adjust your schedule to include responsibilities such as transporting your child to and from school, helping them with extracurricular activities, etc.

How legal custody differs from physical custody

10745492_S.jpgParents who are dealing with custody issues in Kansas City may not be familiar with some of the legal terminology involved, especially if it is their first time in the court system. When it comes to child custody, there are generally two different types of custody that a judge may grant to either or both parents.

When a parent has physical custody of a child, it means that the child lives with, or physically resides with, that person. One parent may have sole physical custody or the parents may share physical custody. On the other hand, legal custody, as FindLaw points out, has more to do with who is able to make decisions that affect the child's life.

Does divorce have other tax consequences?

46327766_S.jpgIf you are just considering filing a divorce petition, have already been granted a divorce, or are in the middle of the process, you may have to work through different types of divorce-related legal issues. From child support to custody and alimony, it is pivotal that you are aware of your responsivities and handle these matters appropriately. Moreover, you should recognize other ways that divorce can affect you. For example, your taxes may be impacted by splitting up with your spouse in different ways.

The Internal Revenue Service states that divorce can affect taxes in a number of ways. For example, if you change your last name after ending your marriage, you should make sure that the name listed on your tax return matches your name in the Social Security Administration's records, or else your refund may be delayed. Although child support is neither taxed nor deducted, people are required to pay taxes on spousal support received and are able to deduct spousal support that was paid.

Can unpaid child support impact my tax refund?

4458129_S.jpgWhen non-custodial parents are unable to pay the child support they owe, their lives may become difficult in various ways. From being unable to apply for a passport to facing the risk of arrest, child support delinquency can upend life. Moreover, there are other consequences that some people do not realize, such as the way that unpaid child support can affect tax refunds.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, tax refunds can be reduced in order to cover back child support. If you have fallen far enough behind on your child support payments and are expecting a tax refund, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service has the ability to offset money you are owed by the IRS. If the BFS does intercept your tax refund, you will receive a notice which informs you of the action.

Reducing the impact of divorce during the 4th of July

30426115_S.jpgIf separating from your spouse has become necessary, various issues that you may have to address can be even more complicated during Independence Day and other holidays. At Stange Law Firm, our Missouri firm recognizes the different ways that family law matters can be even more challenging during the Fourth of July and on other U.S. holidays. Whether you have kids or are worried about questions that you may be asked from some of your relatives, it is essential to be prepared for any hurdles that may arise.

Whether you are planning on taking your children to see a firework display or have plans in place to host a family get-together, your loved ones may have questions about your marital status and some of the other issues you may be dealing with. Although this can feel overwhelming, you may be able to find peace of mind and explain your circumstances more efficiently if you are prepared for questions and have a clear understanding of the different divorce-related matters you are facing. From child support or custody to property division and filing a divorce petition, you may have many different concerns.

When are men presumed a child's legal father?

45234478_S.jpgFor custodial parents and non-custodial parents, there are times when it is vital to understand whether or not a man is presumed to be a child's legal father. Whether you are worried about receiving child support that you and your child are counting on or you fear that you will be ordered to pay support for a child that is not biologically yours, understanding where Missouri law stands on this topic could be very important.

The Missouri Courts says that a man is presumed to be a child's legal father if he was married to the child's mother at the time of the child's birth or if the birth occurred no later than 300 days after the man divorced the child's mother, according to state law. If a man who was married to a child's mother does not believe that he is the biological father of the child, he can file a petition.

Divorce and domestic violence

30141534_S.jpgThere are a wide variety of reasons why couples decide that it is time to part ways, from infidelity to the simple fact that they are incompatible with each other. However, in Jackson County, and in all of Missouri's communities, some couples split up as a result of domestic violence. At Stange Law Firm, we are very familiar with the multitude of ways this can affect victims, those falsely accused of domestic violence, and children.

Handling domestic violence cases appropriately is essential. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or if your child has been abused, it is pivotal to protect yourself and your child from further harm and take steps to ensure that abuse does not occur again. Unfortunately, domestic violence can have a devastating impact on children and significantly interrupt their current life. Worse yet, the consequences of domestic violence can last for years and may create challenges for victims in the future.

Back child support leaves rap artist behind bars

36312005_S.jpgFailing to pay child support can create diverse challenges. In Jackson County, and in various parts of Missouri, those who fall behind may face stiff penalties such as fines, a social stigma and even time in prison. At the same time, unpaid child support can make life tough for parents and children on a daily basis. For example, they may struggle with the cost of school supplies, food and other necessities. As a result, all parties should take child support matters very seriously and stay committed to securing a positive outcome.

A 42-year-old rap artist was recently sentenced to prison as a result of back child support. Sources say that a judge's ruling in May stipulated that the man would have to pay all of the back child support he owed or spend 30 days behind bars.

Infidelity, divorce and emotions

37920142_S.jpgIn last week's post, we looked at some of the divorce-related issues that may arise for those with post-traumatic stress disorder. However, at Stange Law Firm, we know that people often encounter other hurdles when working through the divorce process, such as strong emotions resulting from infidelity. In Jackson County, and in other counties through Missouri, you should try to work your way through divorce as efficiently as possible.

Sometimes, infidelity results in a married couple splitting up and going through contentious disputes. If you were accused of infidelity, or if your partner was unfaithful, there are a number of things you may want to keep in mind if you have decided to split up. First of all, if you can try to maintain your emotions this may be helpful. Divorce can be incredibly challenging, regardless of the reasons behind a couple's decision to end their marriage. From custody to child support and property division, you should try to be fully prepared and emotionally stable as you navigate the divorce process.

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Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086

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