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How to change a Missouri divorce settlement or decree

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Friday, December 19, 2014. Ordinarily, when a couple divorces, they do so because at least one of the spouses wants to get a fresh start with his or her life apart from the other. The key to this objective is a divorce settlement or decree that both sides can accept as final, so that the issues that led to the divorce do not have to keep being revisited. Life, however, is an ongoing process of changes in people, places and circumstances. Sometimes, these changes can force a divorced

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Do courts in Missouri intervene in grandparents’ rights issues?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, November 13, 2014. Courts in Missouri generally recognize the right of parents to make decisions about how they want to raise their minor children without having their decisions second-guessed by the state. This includes decisions that limit the amount of time grandparents can visit with their grandchildren. No less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the issue when it agreed with the mother in a case where a state court judge overturned her decision to restrict her children’s visitation with their grandparents. The court

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What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, November 6, 2014. Every marriage is unique and each partner within the marriage has concerns that are important to them. The distinct interests that each partner in a married couple has may also impact their choices if the marital relationship breaks down. The particular characteristics of a marriage and the individuals in it are seen when a couple creates their own vows or when they choose to have both a religious as well as civil ceremony so they are considered married in accordance with their beliefs as

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How expensive is the adoption process?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. Choosing to adopt a child is one of the more important decisions a person or couple can make. It is a decision to create or expand your family. It is a decision that will affect your life as well as the life of the child you choose to adopt. Unlike creating a biological family which is seen as a basic right, the route of adoption is considered a legal process. As a legal process and not a basic human right, there are procedures and

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How is child support calculated in Missouri?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Paternity/Child Support on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. The end of a marriage which has produced children inevitably leads to many questions on the part of the divorcing couple: spousal support issues, custody and visitation rights, asset distribution, and more. One question that also needs to be addressed is how to determine who should pay child support, and how much should be paid. The government of Missouri, through its Family Support Division, has undertaken to simplify and clarify how child support obligations are to be calculated. Much of the process of crunching

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Missouri child custody dispute leads to attempted kidnapping

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, October 16, 2014. One year ago, a mother hired two young men to kidnap her one-year-old daughter from the child’s father, who had legal custody of the girl. Recently, the woman entered a guilty plea to three felony charges in Jasper County Circuit Court. As part of the plea deal, additional charges against the woman were dropped. The mother hatched the kidnapping plot two months after the court awarded emergency temporary custody of the child to the father. She pledged to pay the young men, whom she

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High net worth divorces present unique issues

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in High Asset Divorce on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. A divorce is frequently difficult to go through. Even the most amicable divorces still represent the breakdown of a relationship between two people. A divorce is the legal recognition that two people are ending a chapter of their lives, and that change can be difficult to manage for many people. An added concern in certain cases is the fear that your lifestyle will be altered for the worse. A high net worth divorce seems to compound these fears, because the division of marital

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Family law deals with the challenges of changing families

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, October 2, 2014. As society evolves, its foundation adapts along with its changes. Nowhere is this more evident than in the American family. While the traditional nuclear family made up of a father, mother, and one or more children is certainly still in existence in Missouri and across the country, it has been joined by other forms of familial arrangements. What has not changed is the value placed on having a supportive and stable family, regardless of its makeup. Unfortunately, not every family unit is best suited

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What is a paternity suit, and when should a father file one?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Paternity/Child Support on Thursday, September 25, 2014. When parents disagree about who a child’s father is, a paternity suit can clarify the situation. Mothers and children can bring paternity suits. So can men who have been told they are a child’s father. Often, the goal of a paternity suit is to figure out who must pay child support and who should have child custody or visitation rights in the case of a dispute. In these cases, a judge can order a DNA test to determine who a child’s father is. In

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How is the award of spousal support determined in Missouri?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, September 18, 2014. That one spouse may be awarded support from the other in a divorce in Missouri is common knowledge. Questions may arise about how the court determines spousal support obligations. Someone being ordered to pay spousal support will wonder what safeguards are in place to ensure that a spousal support award is not arbitrary? The answer to this question is found in Missouri statutory law. Section 452.335 of the Missouri Revised Statutes requires the court to consider several factors in calculating an award of spousal

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An overview of marital property distribution in Missouri

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Friday, September 12, 2014. Married couples who are considering a divorce can, depending on the duration of their marriage and their means while married, accumulate significant assets that may be subject to distribution. This post addresses some of the considerations that go into deciding who may receive which assets. Missouri is in the majority of states that use equitable distribution. This means that instead of an automatic equal split, the division of property will depend on a more loosely defined concept of fairness. One ex-spouse may, under equitable

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Drama in the skies as FBI arrests mom in child custody dispute

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, September 11, 2014. We recently commented on a study showing that co-parenting arrangements, in which divorcing parents share joint custody of a child, are becoming increasingly popular with judges. In that post, we recommended that Missouri parents should be cautious when entering into such agreements, and they should make sure that their rights and the best interests of the child are protected. As popular as the concept of joint custody might be, it is not for everyone. Sometimes, a lack of cooperation or trust between parents forces

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