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Articles Posted in Divorce

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360_simpson_lawyer_0921.jpgBack in the news again this week, O.J. Simpson is set to testify on his own behalf regarding his claims of ineffective counsel in his 2008 robbery trial. Simpson is alleging that his former attorney, Yale Galanter, failed to inform him of certain details about his case and failed to make certain decisions about his defense which led to Simpson’s conviction. Further, Simpson claims he spoke with the attorney the night before the alleged robbery and that he approved Simpson’s intended actions, which were to recover Simpson’s personal mementos from two sports memorabilia dealers at a casino hotel room in September 2007.
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moneyquestions.jpgIn our previous blog entry we addressed the risks involved with failing to be informed about your financial circumstances, not being prepared to provide for your financial necessities in the early stages of the divorce process and the financial damage that can be done by using the divorce process as a means to seek revenge against your spouse. In Part 2 we address failing to budget, lacking an understanding of your retirement plans, failing to consider future needs against your existing desires and not adequately considering which assets have a present financial value and those assets with a monetary value only accessible in the future.
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moneyhouse.jpgIf you find yourself in the middle of a divorce or are in a situation where you are likely faced with a divorce from your spouse, it is important that you recognize that it is your responsibility to take steps to control your financial future and to avoid those common mistakes that divorcing partners commonly make, with often very detrimental consequences.

This blog entry is a discussion of three of seven common mistakes:

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kim sep from kris.jpgIn recent news, Kim Kardashian has requested that her divorce from NBA star player Kris Humphries be expedited, due primarily to the fact that she is due in July with Kanye West’s child. In Missouri, such a request would not be considered by the courts. In fact, Missouri family courts generally delay granting a divorce to a couple when the wife is pregnant. This is done mostly for the sake of judicial economy, so that both the paternity of the unborn child and the divorce can be finalized at one time.
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With the start of the new year, there has been much publicity and debate over the new tax laws in place across the nation. When a Missouri couple is contemplating a divorce, they should be aware of these new federal tax laws, which may impact how and when they decide to get divorced. Although these new laws primarily affect the wealthier sector of America, tax laws in general should always be considered by a couple when they are going through the divorce process.
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In the State of Missouri there are specific factors the Court is to consider in dividing law books.jpgmarital property. The factors are specified in Missouri Revised Statute Section 452.330, but they include the financial circumstances of the parties, the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the property, the amount of non-marital property awarded to each spouse, each spouse’s conduct during the marriage and the custodial arrangement of any minor children.

The court will consider these factors in dividing marital property and marital debts in such proportions as the court deems just. The court may consider other relevant factors as well but must (shall) consider the preceding factors.

While it is not that uncommon for a Judge to simply divide marital property by awarding 50% of value of the marital estate to each spouse, there are circumstances where a 50 -50 division is not equitable (fair) in the Judge’s eyes and a different result may occur.
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Property which was clearly non-marital at the time of the marriage can be converted into marital property primarily by the following methods: 1) re-titling of non-marital property or 2) 701013_writing_a_check_2.jpgcommingling non-marital property with marital property. This principal is often referred to as transmutation or the act of making a gift to the marital estate.
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1387294_rural_yellow_villa.jpgThe answer to this question is not always as straight forward as it appears. In the State of Missouri the Court should first determine a property’s “character” prior to making a division. In accordance with Missouri Statute 452.330, property shall be characterized as either “marital” or “non-marital”. How your property is divided will depend on this characterization.

Generally, property which is owned prior to the marriage and then brought into the marriage will be considered non-marital property. If the Court determines that 100% of the value of the property is non-marital, it likely will be awarded, in its entirety, to the spouse who brought the property into the marriage. However, there are many circumstances where the Court may find that property which was once non-marital has been converted into marital property during the marriage. Likewise, there are other circumstances where the Court may determine that there exists a marital interest in a portion of property which is otherwise non-marital. Under these circumstances your spouse can be awarded a portion of the value of the property you brought into the marriage.
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