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Kansas City Legal Blog

The financial fallout of gray divorce

More people in Kansas and across the country are choosing to divorce later in life. In the past 20 years, divorces involving couples aged 50 and up have more than doubled nationwide. In 1990, only 10% of people seeking divorces were over 50, but a full one-quarter of divorcing spouses were over 50 by 2010. There are a number of reasons for these changes, including the fact that people who are more socially comfortable with divorce are now older. In addition, people are more likely to divorce in second or later marriages; not all of these divorces involve long-standing couples.

The financial considerations associated with divorce are always significant. Financial issues can linger on long after the emotional and practical issues have been sorted out. These can be particularly important for people who are older when they decide to divorce. This is especially true when long-time marriages are coming to an end as the adjustment to changes in lifestyle can be challenging. In addition, people will need to prepare for a significant cut in their retirement savings as their plans are divided since it costs more to finance individual retirements than a shared lifestyle.

Paternity, fathers' rights and protecting your interests

Fathers play an extremely important role in the lives of their children. There is significant evidence that suggests that kids benefit when allowed to maintain strong bonds with both parents, even if it is after a divorce or in situations where the parents are not married. It is often particularly important for Kansas dads to learn how they can protect their rights as biological parents.

In cases where a child is born to parents who are not married, it is sometimes necessary to prove paternity. By doing this, you can secure custody or visitation rights. It is not always easy to navigate matters involving custody, parenting time and the legal process of proving you have a right to see your child. This is complicated and emotionally challenging, but understanding the legal concept of paternity and what you will have to do to prove it may be helpful to you. 

Financial tips for the divorce process

For people in Kansas, divorce can mean both emotional and financial turmoil. The former can make the latter worse, so it is important to start with a practical plan for one's finances. People should make a short-term budget that encompasses new expenses, such as new health insurance and a new vehicle. The budget can be revised after three to six months once the person has a better handle on expenses.

One item on the budget might be a new place to live, but some people also opt to keep the house. There are a few things the person considering this should keep in mind: It may simply be too big or too expensive. In addition to refinancing the mortgage, the person must assume other costs associated with owning a house on a single income. Some people may prefer to take assets that are more liquid, such as a savings account. It is also important to look at whether there are tax obligations on an asset, such as a retirement account, and how that affects its value.

Relocate or keep the house after divorce

A divorcing parent who wishes to gain sole ownership of the family home in Kansas has several choices. Divorcing parents may decide to let the children grow up in their family home only to sell the house later and split the proceeds. Child custody, parenting plans and visitation options are not permanently decided.

One of the divorcing parents has to accept the fact that they have to move out of the family home. Since Kansas City is located in both Missouri and Kansas, simply moving to the other side of the city may mean modifying the existing child custody, parenting and time-sharing plans.

Social media use can negatively impact divorce

Social media is increasingly pervasive in Kansas and across the country, and participating in it can be problematic for people who are approaching or going through a divorce. For people who are considering ending their marriage, it can be a good idea to take precautions with regard to social media use. Once something has been posted online, it is out there for the world to see, which means it could become fodder for use by adverse parties or their lawyers. Damage control prior to divorce can be performed by removing mean-spirited, negative or lewd comments or posts.

Once the divorce process has begun, the parties should be even more aware of their social media presence. Generally speaking, it's a good idea to minimize or eliminate altogether the use of social media during the proceedings. For people who want to use it, it's best to avoid sharing details. If the divorce is amicable, the parties might discuss when to make their new status public.

Chargebacks could deter vendor contract violations

Running a successful business often means making valuable connections with other people and companies. In some cases, business owners may need to work with outside vendors in order to obtain products, especially in retail settings, or to procure supplies for manufacturing. Of course, if you work with outside parties, you certainly want to ensure that they hold up their side of the arrangement.

Because working with another person or company is a business arrangement, it is important that you create contracts that detail the parameters of that arrangement. These contracts can be especially useful in the event that a vendor does not stick to the terms.

Drivers can refuse to take field sobriety tests

Before July 1, drivers in Kansas could be ticketed for not taking field sobriety tests. However, a change to state law means that drivers will now only face a license suspension for a test refusal. The license suspension is good for a full year, which is the same penalty for failing a blood or breathalyzer test. Furthermore, it is still possible for a driver to be charged and convicted of a DUI based on other evidence collected.

Field sobriety tests may require a driver to walk in a straight line or stand on one leg for a certain amount of time. A lobbyist for law enforcement groups in the state says that the prospect of being charged with a crime provided motorists with an incentive to take field sobriety tests. If a driver doesn't consent to them, it may be more difficult for an officer to show reasonable cause to charge that individual with drunk driving.

Tips for divorced parents to help children adjust

Divorce can be hard on some children in Kansas, but their parents can take steps to make the adjustment easier. Parents should not make their children feel that they must choose between them. Children should be able to spend time with either parent and express love for parents and stepparents without guilt.

Parents should not put one another down in front of the child. Instead, they should be supportive of the child's relationship with the other parent. Children may need reassurance that their parents love them and that the divorce did not happen because of them. However, it is important for parents to find a balance between honestly and setting boundaries. They should not lie to their children about the divorce, but children also do not need to hear the details about what happened in the marriage that led to the divorce. They should not be forced to act as buffers or messengers between their parents.

The good things that happen when parents work together

Parents in Kansas and throughout the country may be anxious about raising their children after a divorce. However, as long as they place the child's needs above their own, it can be a positive experience. Eventually, children are able to accept that their parents love them even if they don't necessarily love each other anymore. Over time, the relationship between the parents may improve as well.

While the relationship may not be the same as it was before, it can still be a strong one that is based on respect for the other person. Parents who share the responsibility of raising their children may find that there is less stress in their lives. This is because they are only with the child for about half the time. In addition, each person is only responsible for roughly half the cost of raising a son or daughter.

No perfect time to file for divorce

Kansas residents might be surprised to find out that divorce filings increase significantly in March and August, according to a study presented at the American Sociological Association in 2016. While experts say that there is no perfect time to file for divorce, the preparation for it should begin months before.

There are many reasons why divorce filings increase. The summer months, for example, often mean the added stress of having children at home and planning family vacations, which can complicate existing tensions within a marriage. Additionally, many couples do not seek help for their problems until it is too late to solve them. While the reasons for seeking a divorce vary, the important thing is the preparation that goes before it.

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