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Columbia, MO Divorce and Family Law Blog

When the nightlife is a job, there's a higher chance of divorce

Couples in Missouri may be interested in some findings that associate certain occupations with the likelihood of divorce. Data from a 2015 survey shows that people who work in fields that involve travel or nightlife are the most likely to get divorced. Bartenders come out at the top of the list of highest divorce rate by profession.

The data from the 2015 American Community Survey was recently presented by FlowingData. While occupations involving travel, shipping and transportation have the highest divorce rates, the lowest divorce rates are associated with occupations that involve math or science.

Protecting the ability to retire after divorce

When Missouri couples want to get divorced, it is important for them to think about their future abilities to retire. Retirement accounts must also be divided between the spouses in an equitable manner, but the division of the accounts may require special considerations and paperwork.

As an example, if a couple has $20,000 in a Roth IRA and $20,000 in a 401(k), it is important to remember that the contributions to the Roth IRA have already been taxed upfront. The contributions that have been made to the 401(k) will be taxed when they are withdrawn, meaning that the $20,000 balance in the 401(k) is worth less than the balance in the Roth IRA.

Celebrity child support payments

19381481_S.jpgMissouri parents who are going through the divorce process and negotiating child support might be surprised to find out just how high celebrity support payments can get. Since child support includes an attempt to maintain a lifestyle, the payment amounts can be very high for children of celebrities, who often have been living very lavish lives.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, middle-income couples who are married with two children can expect to spend about $233,610 to raise one of the children from infancy to adulthood. When a divorce happens, a lot of the activities and experiences that would have resulted in that figure must still be met, which means that even for middle-class parents, child support payments can get expensive. However, they will not get as expensive as the highest celebrity child support settlements.

What to know about spousal support

22875714_S.jpgWhen divorced Missouri couples pay alimony, it is in most cases tax-deductible. Recipients are requred to report it as income on their federal tax return. If a payment is designated as either child support or a part of a property division agreement, it cannot be considered alimony. The IRS has seven conditions that must be met to separate spousal support payments from child support or other types of payments.

A payment cannot be labeled as child support, and the payments must stop when the recipient dies. It is also important that the payments are made in cash or with a cash equivalent. Any payments that are considered alimony must be pursuant to a formal divorce decree or other formal divorce agreement between the two parties.

Closing a joint bank account

Property division can be a contentious divorce issue. Couples in Missouri who are getting a divorce and have a joint checking or saving account should know how to close a joint bank account, and if need be, without the permission of other owners of the account.

Typically, banks will require that an account holder come to the bank to close an account in person. Even though it may not be necessary to have all joint account holders present to close the account, having them there may quicken the process and can help avoid any confusion about what will happen to the proceeds of the account.

Financial results of divorce often hit women hard

41441501_S.jpgMany factors influence the financial outcomes for Missouri women after a divorce. Societal factors like pay gaps between men and women and traditional gender roles contribute to lower incomes for divorced women. Taking too long to create a post-divorce budget also diminishes the financial futures of some women.

A divorce often results in a drop in income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated that earnings for married women exceed earnings for other women by roughly 20 percent. Divorce erases this advantage. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, household incomes for women drop 41 percent after a divorce. Lower wages for women exacerbate the loss of marriage income. For every $1.00 earned by men, women in comparable positions earn $0.82. Lower earnings also translate into lower Social Security benefits.

Women more likely than men to file for divorce

50533103_S.jpgLike all other states, Missouri has no-fault divorce laws, meaning that a filer does not have to provide grounds for seeking a dissolution of his or her marriage. When no-fault laws were initially passed, some where concerned that men would use no-fault divorces as a way to abandon their families, potentially leaving their wives and children in poverty. However, a study showed that approximately 80 percent of all divorces are initiated by women.

Although the idea of what constitutes a marriage has evolved over the last 50 years, the fact remains that there are still many social and practical expectations that are more difficult on women. As such, women appear to be generally more unhappy with the state of marriage than men. Husbands are often more passive when it comes to things not working. They may report being troubled by their wives' dissatisfaction with the state of the marriage, but may not take action to do anything about it while women may file for divorce.

When parents interfere with visitation rights

5947213_S.jpgMissouri parents who have gone through a divorce and who have custody and parenting time orders in place are required to follow them. If issues arise and one parent tries to interfere with the time allotted to the other, that parent may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties for doing so.

When parents of minor children decide to end their marriage, they sometimes will negotiate parenting time agreements on their own. Filing these agreements with the court can help the parents with enforcing them. Parenting time may also be decided by the court if the issue is being contested.

Understanding divorce

42425711_S.jpgCouples in Missouri who are considering ending their marriages should have a clear idea of exactly what a divorce does and how it can affect the rest of their lives. Having a realistic view of what to expect and understanding the futility of attempting to predict how the divorce court may rule in a certain matter can help divorcing individuals be more satisfied with the outcome.

Divorce is useful for allocating property between soon-to-be ex-spouses. Normally, the assets in a marriage will be divided in the most economical manner the divorce court can manage. A majority of states prohibit the reallocation of property that was obtained before the divorce or that was received as part of an inheritance or as a gift. Community property states divide assets acquired during a marriage equally between both parties. Non-community property states will evaluate the financial situation, future financial plans and any other pertinent issues of each party when determining how to distribute marital assets equitably.

Common falsehoods about divorce

35462374_S.jpgMissouri couples who are going through a divorce might be offered advice from friends, acquaintances and family, but that advice might not always be accurate. For example, they may hear that it is possible to save money by having both of them use the same attorney, but that presents a conflict of interest and is an ethical violation.

Another misconception is that marital misconduct will be irrelevant in a no-fault divorce. Cheating by one party, however, might still affect division of assets or other aspects of the divorce. Others may think that since state child support guidelines are widely available, it is easy to calculate child support, but this may not be the case. How income is determined may be complex, and other factors might be considered as well.

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Stange Law Firm, PC

Stange Law Firm, PC
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Columbia, Missouri 65203

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