Issues that a Divorce Mediator in Jackson County MO Can Help Resolve

When spouses decide to save time, money and frustration, they often turn to a divorce mediator in Jackson County Missouri.  Even if they had trouble communicating before, the thought of having to air their dirty laundry in a public setting and having to waste their savings on legal bills often serves as important incentives to engage the services of a professional.  A divorce mediator in Jackson County Missouri can help resolve many divorce issues, such as:

Child Custody

Today, most parents play an active role in their children’s lives.  This should not end simply because of an impending divorce.  A mediator can discuss ways that each parent can maximize time with the children while allowing the other parent separate time with the children.  Instead of the children being in one home for the school week and the other home for the weekend, a mediator can suggest ways that works for the particular situation and schedules of both parents and children.

Property Division

If the judge decides on how to divide property, both spouses are often dissatisfied.  The judge may give one spouse an asset that has no sentimental value to a spouse.  Additionally, consideration may not go into the tax consequences of having to maintain a certain asset.  A mediator can help the parties reach a consensus regarding their property so that they do not waste the time and energy of having a judge decide these issues.


Spouses can also reach an agreement regarding child and/or spousal support by using the services of a neutral mediator.

Divorce Lawyers in Jackson County MO Assist with Legal Separation

While divorce lawyers in Jackson County Missouri may spend the majority of their time handling divorce cases, they can also provide advice and legal assistance with the process of obtaining a legal separation.  Many of the legal issues are the same in legal separation cases, and if the couple does decide to get divorced, divorce lawyers in Jackson County Missouri who handled the separation may handle the divorce since they are already acquainted with the situation.

In some marriages, there may come a time when the parties do not want to get a divorce and formally end their marriage, but they may be affected by an untenable issue, such as substance abuse.  They may want to work out their marriage but also want to protect their assets while they are living apart.  In some situations, they may not have any plans to continue the romantic relationship but a divorce may be to their advantage.  For example, one spouse may need to stay on the other’s insurance coverage.  In these situations, the court can help set up orders for the interim, such as establishing provisions regarding the couple’s children and dividing assets.

Individuals who are considering filing for legal separation often require legal advice and representation during this process as legal separation can easily turn into a petition for divorce.  The other spouse may respond to the petition for legal separation with his or her own petition for divorce.  Additionally, either spouse can file a petition for divorce 90 days after the legal separation order has been issued.

Hiring the Right Family Law Attorney in Jackson County MO

If you are embroiled in a family law dispute, your first course of action is likely to try to find a family law attorney in Jackson County Missouri.  You may have found quite a few numbers for attorneys in the area.  Finding the right family law attorney in Jackson County Missouri requires you to look to the following:

Experience in the Legal Issue

Not all family law attorneys handle the same types of cases.  Some primarily work on divorces while others may take more domestic violence cases.  Others may focus on juvenile cases.  When interviewing prospective lawyers, ask about their relevant experience in the legal issues that are plaguing you.  Experience matters in family law cases, so ensure that you are hiring someone trained to help you.

The Right Approach

You know the family dynamics better than any attorney you choose.  You know whether you may be able to reason with the other side or if a serious fight is on the horizon.  Match the approach that you think you will need with the attorney who offers the same approach you are looking for.

The Right Feel

You need to feel comfortable with the attorney you choose as you will likely spend hours of time with this person.  He or she should be someone you trust completely to represent your legal interests.  Even if an attorney has the right experience, trust your gut when making the decision about which attorney to trust.

Information to Provide to Your Divorce Lawyer in Jackson County MO

Once you have made the difficult decision to get a divorce, it is important that you move quickly by providing your divorce lawyer in Jackson County Missouri with certain information.  It is often easier to acquire certain information while you are still cohabiting before your spouse learns of your intention to get a divorce.  Some information that your divorce lawyer in Jackson County Missouri may need includes:

Identifying Information

Provide your divorce lawyer with identifying information about you and your spouse.  This includes the date of birth, social security number and full legal name for both spouses.  You will also need to provide information about your marriage, including the location of the marriage.  Provide your lawyer with the marriage certificate.  He or she needs this information in order to complete the pleadings for your case.

Financial Information

In order to determine the value of the marital estate and the value of specific assets, your attorney will need financial information.  Gather recent statements, including credit card statements, checking account statements, savings account statements and retirement account statements.  Gather information about any real property you own, including deeds and mortgage documents.

Information about Your Children

Gather documents pertaining to your children, including educational records and health records.  Let your attorney know how you want to handle issues related to the children during divorce, such as custody, visitation and child support arrangements.

Being prepared can help you save time and money with your divorce.

Using a Divorce Mediator in Kansas City MO When It Comes to Dividing Retirement Assets

When it comes to property division in a divorce, there are few things that can be more complicated than trying to figure out how retirement accounts are to be dealt with.  With the help of a divorce mediator in Kansas City Missouri, however, the process of splitting up retirement accounts could be simplified through allowing spouses to decide on the issue together.  A divorce mediator in Kansas City Missouri can help a divorcing couple figure out the issue of retirement funds so that they can resolve the issue in a way that may not have been considered by a judge deciding the issue.

Retirement income earned during the course of the marriage is considered to be marital property that is subject to division as any other marital property would be.  However, unlike with the family home or other property, retirement accounts usually have restrictions when it comes to accessing the income before retirement.  Additionally, it could also be complicated to figure out what would be a proper split of retirement accounts when taking into account investments and employer matching.

Mediation can work well for dividing up retirement income because it can help foster innovative solutions to what can prove to be a real complicated issue.  With the help of a divorce mediator in Kansas City Missouri, spouses can trade other marital property for retirement income; agree to monthly payments at retirement age or any number of possible solutions.

How Divorce Lawyers in Kansas City MO Can Help You When Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets

Hiding assets is, unfortunately, a reality in many divorces and can cause some of the most complicated actions that divorce lawyers in Kansas City Missouri have to deal with.  Hiding assets or lowering income can have vast effects on nearly all areas of a divorce matter and, if your spouse gets away with it, can cause real financial harm to you.  Divorce lawyers in Kansas City Missouri are prepared to fight for you if it is discovered that your spouse is hiding money or other property.

Hiding assets can be done in almost countless ways.  One spouse can lower their income through leaving their job, cutting back on hours or, if self-employed, not telling the truth about what money they are pulling in.  Additionally, one spouse may empty out joint bank accounts, sell property that is in their name alone, use offshore accounts or simply have a friend or loved one take possession of the property to get it out of the spouse’s name.

The result of this can affect many areas of the divorce.  Property division, child support and spousal maintenance all depend on accurate financial information from both spouses to be done fairly.    Because of that, divorce lawyers in Kansas City Missouri can argue before the court that a spouse that hides assets should be penalized; possibly even through having to turn over the very assets they tried to hide.

Hiring a Family Law Attorney in Kansas City MO to Assist With Expenses Outside Child Support

Monthly child support payments may not cover everything that your child needs and may be a reason to hire a family law attorney in Kansas City Missouri to assist you when expenses arise.  There could be many types of extra expenses outside of child support itself, some that you may not have even thought of when debating child support with your child’s other parent.  Having a family law attorney in Kansas City Missouri on your side is the best way to make sure that your child will have all of their needs met.

Some examples of expenses that could run outside monthly support payments could be things such as day care, health and dental insurance, private schooling, fees for hobbies and sport teams or even a college education.  It may be necessary, therefore, to come up with an agreement as to what will happen with these expenses while the initial child support and custody order is being decided upon.    Additionally, it may also be necessary to come up with a plan that takes into account unforeseen expenses that come up in the future, such as medical bills or braces, for example.  With the assistance of a family law attorney in Kansas CityMissouri, you can be sure that you will have someone who understands the complexity of coming up with an agreement that dictates how the expenses will be handled.

Why Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Kansas City MO When You Cannot Find Your Spouse

It is not uncommon when one spouse walks out that the other spouse is unable to find them for the purpose of serving divorce papers.  Because of this, the courts allow for alternative ways to get a divorce when one spouse can’t be found, preferably with the assistance of a divorce lawyer in Kansas City Missouri.  Your divorce lawyer in Kansas City Missouri can assist you in either locating your missing spouse or through meeting all the necessary steps to continue with your divorce without them.

The courts do not want to force people to stay married to their spouse when they don’t want to.  If you are not able to find your spouse there are laws in place that would allow you to go on with a divorce, even if they cannot be served with papers.

The first step is to make a diligent search, while collecting proof of your efforts, and submit an application for permission to publish notice of the divorce action against your spouse.  Once you have published this notice for four weeks in a newspaper, you can then file proof with the court.  After this point, your spouse has 45 days to respond.  If they respond, the divorce goes on as normal.  If they do not, your spouse will get a default judgment against them and the divorce will be granted, although issues like custody or property division will not be decided.

How Grandparents Can Get Visitation Rights With the Help of a Family Law Attorney in Kansas City Missouri

Grandparents have some rights to visitation with their grandchildren, according to Missouri law.  By hiring a family law attorney in Kansas City Missouri, grandparents can help to protect these rights so that they can continue to have a relationship with their grandchildren in some circumstances.  Through the assistance of a family law attorney in Kansas City Missouri, grandparents have the best chance of gaining visitation with their grandchildren.

Grandparents have the right to visitation under certain circumstances including when the grandchild’s parents have divorced, the grandparent’s child dies and the other parent is refusing visitation or visitation has been denied for 90 days unreasonably and the parents are not married to one another, for example.

However, even though the law allows for visitation in these instances the courts do not want to override a parent’s wishes when it comes to grandparent’s visitation without good reason to do so, it is not always a guaranteed right.  A grandparent’s right to visitation does not come about automatically, as it would for visitation for the child’s parents.   For example, the grandparent still has to prove that visitation is in the best interest of the child, and there will not be a threat to the grandchild’s physical or emotional health.  For this reason, it is advisable for a grandparent who wants visitation to hire a family law attorney in Kansas City Missouri to assist them when seeking visitation.

Dividing Debts With the Help of a Divorce Lawyer in Kansas City Missouri Is as Important as Dividing Assets

Many spouses in the midst of a divorce may not know is that marital debts are divided up, similar to the way assets are divided.  A spouse who is concerned about the amount of marital debt there is should contact a divorce lawyer in Kansas City Missourto make sure that those debts are divided properly, fairly.  A divorce lawyer in Kansas City Missouri has the knowledge necessary to make sure that dividing debts is done properly.

Debts that were incurred during the marriage are divided according to the same standards that assets are divided, meaning that the debts are divided equitably.  Equitably, however, does not mean that the debts are 50%/50%, but rather divided in a way that is fair to both spouses according to a number of factors.

As with marital assets, which are any property earned or purchased during the marriage, debt is considered part of the marital estate regardless of whose name the debt is in.  This means if one spouse only has 10% of the debt in their name and the other spouse has 90% of the debt, the debt would still be divided according to what is fair, rather than the name that the debt is in.  With the help of a divorce lawyer in Kansas City Missouri, a spouse can have the best chance of an equitable division of their debts.