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Jackson County Family Law Blog

What does the court learn from a psychological evaluation?

In determining the best interests of your child during a custody battle in Missouri, the judge may decide that a psychological evaluation is necessary. According to the American Psychological Association, there are certain goals that the psychologist should attempt to accomplish during this meeting with your child.

58984077_S.jpgYou and your former spouse may have very different parenting styles, and the psychologist will evaluate how these specifically affect your child's needs. This is not meant to be a general assessment of you and the other parent. Instead, it is a practical evaluation of your behaviors and attitudes toward parenting as they are applied to the way you take care of your child. The psychologist is trying to identify if one of you is a better fit for custodial parent, or if you are both suited to co-parent.

4 events that don't automatically end child support

11048312_S.jpgParents who are obligated to pay child support don't necessarily look forward to making these payments every month. However, they do so knowing that their financial contribution is essential in protecting the well-being of their child, and they should know that failure to keep up with payments could have very serious legal consequences.

With all this in mind, parents often look forward to the day when they can finally stop making these payments. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen when people think it should happen.

Think divorcing in your 20s is easy? Think again

39243747_S.jpgThere are many things that seem easier for people of a certain age. But the fact is that we never really know how easy or difficult something is for others. For instance, as this article on The Huffington Post points out, there are many misconceptions people have about people who divorce at a young age. Some people think it's easy; others think it is the result of a careless, immature decision to marry too young.

The truth, however, is that divorce in your 20s, or any age for that matter, is complicated and difficult. If you are in your 20s or 30s and divorcing, you should be prepared for some very real challenges you may have to face. 

New law in Missouri aimed at improving shared parenting

53466661_S (1).jpgFor years now, there have been studies and surveys showing that children often benefit when they have frequent, consistent contact with two parents. These numbers have sparked many states to adopt new laws that aim at leveling the playing field when it comes to establishing child custody and shared parenting. 

Today, Missouri is among those states. Recently, a new law was passed that made important changes to custody and visitation guidelines.

How social media use could jeopardize your divorce

31480030_S.jpgSocial media is a part of our daily lives. This preoccupation with social media may seem pretty harmless, but it could be causing more problems than you think, especially if you are in a relationship.

As articles like this one on the Huffington Post point out, social media can hurt relationships in a number of ways, from making it easier to cheat to creating a false sense of reality. However, social media use can also hurt people who are getting out of relationships. For instance, if you are getting divorced, there are a few ways you could wind up damaging yourself and others through social media.

Is it possible to modify my child support order?

34278027_S.jpgWhen you are packing your child up to go back to school in the coming weeks, you probably aren't going to give them the same clothes, the same supplies and the same books you gave them a few years ago. This wouldn't work because things have changed and your child needs things that fit their needs better.

This is how you might also want to look at your child support order. If you have had the same order in place for a few years now, it might be time to revisit it and make sure it still fits your needs and your child's needs.

Marriage takes work. According to study, so does avoiding divorce

36327390_S.jpgust about every week or so, we read about a new study that reveals a link between certain behaviors and an increased risk of divorce. This is not surprising, considering the fact that people often want to know what they can do to protect their marriage from ending.

The answer, at least according to one recent study, could be to get to work. We don't mean that you should work on the marriage, though that is crucial; we mean that studies found men who do not have full-time jobs are more likely to get divorced.

Dealing with fertility issues? Protect yourself and your family

10220806_S.jpgMillions of people in the U.S. are dealing with an inability to conceive children. Chances are that we all know someone who has had difficulty having children through natural conception methods. In fact, you may be someone who has struggled to get pregnant and have a healthy child.

While this is undoubtedly an upsetting position to be in, there are alternatives that can allow people to start or add to their families. It is important to note, however, that these alternatives oftentimes involve other people and surrendering of parental rights. Because of this, it is crucial to consider the legal elements of these options.

What factors are considered when calculating child support?

34690105_S.jpgIf you ask just about any parent in Missouri what they think about the child support they pay or receive, you will likely get one of two answers, depending on whether they are the payer or the recipient: way too much or not enough.

Parents who are required to comply with an order for child support don't always see child support strictly as a means of supporting a child, which is why it's hard to see eye-to-eye. Some think of it as a penalty for noncustodial parents or that it should serve as a reward for acting as "the better parent." But the fact is there are strict guidelines when it comes to calculating child support Missouri courts will use. Below are some of the factors that are and are not generally considered.

Missouri parents: Be prepared for upcoming child custody changes

18214239_S (1).jpgFamily legal matters can be very difficult to resolve without legal support, particularly because the laws governing them are often changing. Recently, for instance, a law passed in Missouri that changes how judges will be required to approach and resolve child custody cases.

Previously, courts could make assumptions about which parent may be better suited to serve as the custodial parent. The new law, however, prohibits such an assumption and instead requires the courts to start every case assuming each parent is an equally qualified parent. Adjustments will then be made based on the unique factors of the individual situation.