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Jackson County Family Law Blog

Ensuring that a prenup is valid

12172964_S.jpgIf you are preparing for marriage, multiple concerns may be on your mind, from wedding planning to different ways your life may change after the ceremony. In Jackson County, and regions across the state of Missouri, many people decide to create a prenuptial agreement to eliminate some uncertainties, such as what will happen to assets in the event of a spouse's death or if divorce becomes necessary. At Stange Law Firm, we know how crucial it is for people who are preparing prenups to make sure that the contract is valid.

When a prenuptial agreement is invalid or unfair, it may be unenforceable. In order to avoid this, you should ensure that certain conditions are met before you and your spouse sign the contract. For example, you do not want your spouse to be coerced into signing and they must have enough time to review the agreement beforehand. The contracts, which each party must sign, must come with a declaration of each party's debts, income and assets. Depending on the details concerning your individual circumstances, your prenuptial agreement may be rather brief or very complex.

The importance of handling child support properly

70448784_S.jpgIf you are required to make child support payments, or are going through divorce and expect to have this responsibility in the near future, it is vital to handle any child support matters that you are facing appropriately. At Stange Law Firm, PC, we are very familiar with the multiple hurdles that parents who have to pay child support may face in Jackson County, and in all other parts of Missouri.

If you recently lost your job, are suffering from a medical condition that you did not see coming or are facing financial troubles for any other reason, making child support payments on time can be incredibly difficult. Regrettably, your situation could become even worse if you fall behind on child support, which may result in stiff penalties. As a result, it is essential to explore any options that are on the table. For example, you may be able to make payment arrangements or modify your child support order so that payments are more affordable.

Do I need to pay taxes on spousal support?

46794996_S.jpgIn last week's post, this blog took a look at child support and tax matters. However, if you have split up with your spouse, divorce could affect your taxes in other ways. For example, if you are required to pay alimony or receive spousal support, you should familiarize yourself with the impact that alimony will have on your tax return. In Jackson County, Missouri, daily life after a divorce can be challenging for various reasons, but you may have an easier time if you develop a solid understanding of your responsibilities.

The Internal Revenue Service states that you are required to include spousal support payments that you have received as part of your income. Furthermore, those who pay alimony are able to deduct spousal support payments that they have made. Nevertheless, some payments are not recognized as alimony by the IRS if certain requirements are not satisfied, such as payments which are seen as a property settlement or payments made via an unacceptable payment method. In some cases, payments cannot be deducted or counted as taxable income if both parties lived in the same house at the time payments were made.

Can I deduct my child support payments when filing taxes?

18138261_S.jpgIf you split up with your marital partner, your life may have changed in various ways. For example, you may be required to pay alimony or child support or you could be involved in a dispute over child custody. In the middle of tax season, you may have even more uncertainties related to your divorce, such as whether or not you can deduct your child support payments. In Jackson County, Missouri, and across the whole U.S., it is vital for parents to understand all of their obligations and try to make their life easier after a divorce.

The Internal Revenue Service states that you cannot deduct any child support payments that you have made on your tax return. Furthermore, your child's custodial parent as well as all others who receive child support payments do not pay taxes on the child support that they have received. However, it is vital to keep in mind that divorce could have an impact on your taxes in other ways, such as affecting your filing status, among other issues.

Relocating with your child after divorce

45285933_S.jpgIf you are a parent who has gone through a divorce, there may be a myriad of complications you have to deal with. For example, you could be struggling due to missing child support payments. However, if you wish to relocate with your child to Jackson County, Missouri, or elsewhere in the nation, moving forward can be particularly challenging. At Stange Law Firm, we recognize the importance of covering every base when it comes to relocating with children after a divorce.

Before moving, there are a number of conditions which must be met. You will be required to inform the other parent of your child about your intentions by sending them a certified letter. State law requires that you provide a number of details in the letter, such as the purpose for relocating as well as the date and location you plan on moving to.

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.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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St. Louis (Clayton), Missouri 63105

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