${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt} Main Menu
Call Today: 855-805-0595

Jackson County Family Law Blog

What do courts consider when dividing marital property?

Whether you are anticipating a divorce in the near future or have already filed a divorce petition, you may have a wide variety of questions related to splitting up with your marital partner. For example, you could be wondering who will get custody of your child or whether you will be required to pay alimony. In Jackson County, and across Missouri, divorce can also create uncertainties related to the distribution of marital property. It may be helpful for you to develop an idea of which factors the court will examine when deciding how your marital property should be split up.

The Missouri General Assembly has outlined various factors that courts look at when making decisions on the distribution of marital property. Some factors include each party's conduct over the course of the marriage, the value of each spouse's non-marital property and contributions made by both parties as well as their financial well-being. Moreover, child custody arrangements can also affect how marital property is divvied up.

What is the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program?

40271497_S.jpgFor parents, custody disputes can create a plethora of challenges that interrupt daily life and generate a tremendous amount of anxiety. If you are in the middle of a dispute over child custody in Jackson County, you should try to understand how the laws related to custody in the state of Missouri may affect your situation as well as your child's future. Furthermore, you should be aware of other custody-related matters at the national level, such as the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program aims to prevent the abduction of children younger than 18 years old. Under the program, the Department of State is able to reach out to the parent who is asking for a passport to be issued in their child's name and confirm that the parental consent conditions have been satisfied. In fact, parents can voluntarily enroll their minor children in the program if they are worried about the child's other parent attempting to abduct the child.

Paying back child support to obtain a passport

39592013_S.jpgIn a recent post, we examined the Passport Denial Program, which bars parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments from obtaining or renewing a passport. If you have over $2,500 worth of unpaid child support in Jackson County, or another Missouri region, you may be unable to leave the country. At Stange Law Firm, P.C., we recognize the different reasons people need passports, from business trips to visiting family members and sightseeing.

If you want to address back child support in order to regain passport eligibility, the Department of State has outlined a number of steps that will have to be taken. First, they recommend setting up payment arrangements with the state where you are delinquent in child support payments prior to sending in your passport application. Next, the state is required to inform the Department of Health and Human Services, which has to remove you from their outstanding arrears list. Once Passport Services confirms that you are no longer on the HHS list, they will be able to process your passport application. However, it is vital to remember that it can take two to three weeks for your application to be processed after you have made child support payment arrangements.

Immigration and invalid marriages

50651420_S.jpgFrom securing a job to investing in a business, there are many ways that people move to the U.S. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, marriage is a path for some to become permanent residents. Unfortunately, some people may use marriage solely as a way to obtain a green card and live in Jackson County, or another part of Missouri. Furthermore, it is crucial for those who believe that they may have been subjected to marraige fraud to understand which marriages are considered invalid and know their rights.

While marriage has served as a path to permanent residency for many people, some marriages are not recognized by the USCIS. For example, a relationship that was formed solely to evade America's immigration laws or a partnership that violates a state's strong public policy are considered invalid. Other examples include a polygamous marriage, a domestic partnership that was not recognized as a marriage at the celebration location or a proxy marriage where one spouse was not present. However, proxy marriages that are consummated are considered valid by the USCIS.

Taking a look at the Passport Denial Program

48819611_S.jpgFor those who are unable to pay child support, a number of hurdles may lie ahead. For example, missing child support payments can lead to stiff fines, arrest and even time behind bars. In Jackson County, Missouri, parents who do not pay child support may also suffer serious damage to their reputation. However, there are other consequences that can interrupt the lives of those with back child support, such as the Passport Denial Program.

According to the Administration for Children & Families, a non-custodial parent who owes more than $2,500 in unpaid child support will have their passport application turned down because of the Passport Denial Program. Even when parents are released from the Passport Denial Program, their applications are retained for 90 days. Sometimes, parents in this position will need to apply for a passport again.

The validity of divorce filings in other countries

42286944_S.jpgWith regard to divorce, couples in Jackson County may encounter a plethora of hurdles, such as disputes over alimony and child support. However, less common concerns may arise, such as a spouse deciding to file for a divorce from their spouse who lives in Missouri while they are in another country. Foreign divorce filings take place for various reasons, such as a spouse moving overseas for employment purposes, and it is crucial for both parties to understand whether or not the divorce is valid.

According to the U.S. Passports and International Travel's site, divorces that are granted overseas are typically considered valid in the U.S., so long as certain conditions are met. For example, both parties must have received notification of the divorce and provided an opportunity to appear in court. Since divorces are usually handled by state governments and not the federal government, those who question the validity of their divorce may want to contact the attorney general's office in their respective state.

More paying child support after restriction

10664284_S.jpgFor many people, child support is a heated issue that can have a significant impact on multiple lives. In Jackson County, and everywhere else in Missouri, unpaid child support can cause custodial parents and children to experience financial difficulties and may also lead to a host of problems for parents who do not make payments. For example, a parent who misses child support payments may not be able to travel outside of the country and could face harsh penalties, such as being taken into custody and forced to pay costly fines.

In Texas, the state reports that more than $160,000 in child support has been paid by over 540 parents after a recent restriction was put into place. The restriction gave the state the power to stop parents who fall behind on their child support for over 180 days from renewing their vehicle registration.

Preparing for divorce and child support

40699093_S.jpgIf you are planning on separating from your spouse, you may have a variety of divorce-related matters in front of you. For example, you could be wondering about the financial impact of divorce, such as how your marital property will be distributed. If you have children and expect to pay or receive child support, it is especially important for you to be ready for this aspect of divorce as well. At Stange Law Firm, we know how difficult and confusing these issues can be for parents in Jackson County, and all over the state of Missouri.

With regard to child support, it is vital to have an idea of what your obligations will be if you expect to make child support payments. Courts will take a variety of factors into consideration when determining how much you will owe, such as your income and how many kids you have. In some cases, you may experience changes concerning your financial situation, whether you are fired from your job or face a health condition that you never saw coming. Under these circumstances, modifying your child support order may help you stay current on your child support and prevent some of the consequences associated with failing to pay on time.

What are the consequences of failing to pay child support?

45106734_S.jpgUnderstanding the possible penalties associated with failure to pay child support may be helpful for you for various reasons. For example, if you are obligated to make child support payments, it is vital to avoid these penalties by paying on time. On the other hand, if you are supposed to receive child support, it may be a good idea to inform your child's other parent of the consequences that come with failure to pay child support in Jackson County, Missouri.

In Missouri, those who do not make child support payments may face a number of consequences that can upend their life. According to the Missouri General Assembly, criminal nonsupport becomes a felony when a parent misses 12 monthly child support payments. Parents who fall behind on child support payments may be taken into custody, sentenced to prison or have their wages garnished. Moreover, failure to satisfy child support obligations can result in an intercepted tax refund, financial penalties and the denial of passport applications.

Modifying your child support order

67084405_S.jpgWhether you are trying to figure out how to pay your bills because of a recent job loss or are suffering from a medical condition that you did not see coming, there are many reasons you may have recently found yourself in a difficult financial position. In these situations, making child support payments can be tough and at Stange Law Firm, we know how problematic this can be for parents in Jackson County, and all parts of Missouri.

Failing to fulfill your child support obligations could result in a number of harsh consequences. Aside from arrest and financial penalties, you may experience some other unexpected challenges. For example, you could be unable to get a passport or you may struggle with significant damage to your reputation. As a result, it is vital to do everything in your power to make child support payments on time.

2015 Top 100 Lawyers - ASLA Lead Counsel Rated Rated By Super Lawyers American Legal Institute | America's Top Attorneys 2016 Nation's Premier Top Ten Ranking 2016 | NAFLA 10 Best 2014-2016 | 3 Years Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys ™ Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb The National Trial Lawyers National Association of Distinguished Counsel | Nation's Top One Percent National Academy of Jurisprudence Rue Rating | Best Attorneys Of America | Lifetime Charter Member The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers | America's Premier Attorneys Law Firm 500 | 2016 Honoree
Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
120 S. Central Avenue
Suite 450
St. Louis (Clayton), Missouri 63105

Toll Free: 855-805-0595
Fax: 314-963-9191
St. Louis Law Office Map