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Study To Focus On Increase In Child Custody Cases

Researchers are studying why the number of child custody battles in Sweden has risen by 60 percent in the past six years. 

Analysts from Lund University announced they will study at least 1,000 parents, mapping out the ethnicity and class background of the parents and plan to look at other contributing factors such as social and financial crises, cultural or religious difference, substance abuse and mental health issues. The research project is expected to be the biggest of its kind.

If you are facing any type of child custody battle, it is important to obtain an attorney who can not only fight for you, but can protect who is most important in your life. Contact us today for a free, initial consultation.

Consider Legal Papers If Cohabitating

More and more heterosexual couples are cohabitating and delaying marrying or deciding against walking down the aisle altogether to be legally wed.

While that works for many, skipping the "I dos" can create more hassles in the event of a break up if financial ground rules were not laid out ahead of time. 

According to the U.S. Census, the number of unwed married couples jumped to 7.5 million opposite-sex couples percent in the past decade. While some of that is attributed to economic difficulties, many are a shift in society's view of relationships. 

An article on Foxbusiness.com discusses what unwed couples need to do financially to protect themselves and advises such a relationship needs to be thought of as a business relationship. 

The author interviews an expert who discusses what specific aspects should be discussed and kept separate, including keeping property like your vehicle in your name and keeping financial accounts, loans and credit cards separate.  

Since there is not a specific legal framework for cohabitating couples to divide assets should the relationship break up, it may be wise to discuss specific financial aspects with a family attorney and set legal groundwork that would clarify asset division should the relationship break up. 

If you are interested in setting up financial arrangements for a serious relationship, contact our office today. 

Divorces Increase Among Older Couples

In the United States 45 percent of all marriages end in divorce, but recently researchers found the divorce rate among those who have spent decades together is quickly growing. 

According to a new study released a few months ago by sociologists at Bowling Green State University, the overall divorce rate has been slowly decreasing, but the divorce rate among those 50 and older, nicknamed "gray divorces" has more than doubled in the past 20 years. 

Researchers used data from 1990 U.S. Vital Statistics Report and the 2010 American Community Survey to study the divorce rate over time. They found that about 25 percent of the divorces in 2010 occurred in people who were 50 years old and older. Many of these were in those who had a second marriage and analysts found the divorce rate among those who had previously divorced was 2.5 times higher for those who remarried. 

An AARP study in 2004 found 66 percent of divorces among people aged 40 to 69 were initiated by women and that infidelity wasn't usually the main reason for divorce. 

One reasoning is that divorce no longer carries the social stigma it used to and many women can independently support themselves so they may find themselves unhappy as their kids grow up and leave the house. 

If you are considering a divorce, it is important to discuss your options with a St. Louis family attorney who is experienced in handling divorce proceedings. Call today for a free, initial consultation.


Supreme Court Kicks Off New Session; Same-Sex Marriage May Be On Their List

As the Supreme Court kicks off another session this week, they are expected to consider at least one case that could affect how marriage is defined and who is legally married. 

Several of the appeals are seeking to guarantee federal benefits for legally married same-sex couples. 

One appeal requests justices to keep California's Proposition 8 in tact, which outlawed gay marriage. California's federal courts have struck it down and the court will consider whether it will handle the case. 

Other cases directly challenge a provision in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which does not allow same-sex couples the range of federal benefits as heterosexual couples. Some lower courts have deemed it unconstitutional and opponents have argued the Act violates equal protection for same-sex couples legally married. 

If you are dealing with any type of legal issues and need to discuss your situation with a family attorney, call today for a free and immediate consultation.

KC Lawyer Facing “Death By Forgery” In Father’s Death

A Kansas City lawyer is accused of "death by forgery" in a case that is being reexamined.

According to reports, Susan Van Note was indicted Friday on forgery charges related to a 2010 murder in Camden County.

Susan was charged in connection with the 2010 death of her 67-year-old father, where prosecutors said she forged the documents that later ended his life.  She is also charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Nearly two years ago in October 2010, the wealthy William Van Note was found shot and stabbed along with his longtime companion, Sharon Dickson, who was shot, in his house. Dickson, 59, was dead, but William was taken to a Boone County Hospital where he later died after medical professional followed directions on the papers officials said Susan forged.

A second couple have been charged in connection with the case. A former classmate and her spouse acted as witnesses to the forged documents and were indicted on felony forgery and second-degree murder charges.

All defendants pleaded not guilty Friday in court. Susan Van Note is being held on a $1 million cash bond. So far, she has not been charged in her father's girlfriend's death.

If you need any legal help, give our office a call today.

Study Finds Women With Pre-Wedding Jitters More Likely To Divorce

A new study from the University of California in Los Angeles found that women who had cold feet had a higher divorce rate and reported less marital satisfaction than those without the pre-marital jitters. 

Researchers found women with doubts before their wedding was 2.5 times more likely to divorce four years later than wives without these doubts. Those who remained married reported being significantly less satisfied with their marriages than those without doubts. 

Psychologists looked at 464 newlywed spouses in Los Angeles within the first months of marriage and then conducted follow-up surveys with the couples every six months for four years. The average age of the husband was 27 and the average age of the wife was 25. 

In the initial interviews, 47 percent of husbands and 38 percent of wives reported being uncertain or hesitant at some point about getting married. Researchers noted the wives' doubts were actually more meaningful and a better predictor of how the relationship would turn out. 

Nineteen percent of women and fourteen percent of men who reported pre-wedding doubts were divorced four years later compared with eight percent of women and nine percent of men who didn't report doubts. 

The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation along with UCLA's Academic Senate. 

If you are facing a divorce, you need a compassionate attorney by your side. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Couples Therapy Helps Many With PTSD

A new study out last month showed treating a person suffering from post traumatic stress disorder along with their partner using couples therapy significantly decreased their symptoms and overall improved their relationship.

Researchers from Ryerson University in Toronto led the North American study where they studied forty couples where one partner was diagnosed with PTSD. There were two study sites: one in Toronto at Ryerson University Psychology Research and Training Centre and the other at the Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient hospital in Boston, Mass. 

Couples were asked to refrain from other couples therapy at least two months prior to the study and be in remission from any type of substance abuse as well as not have demonstrated severe psychotic behaviors.  They groups were divided into two groups of 20 couples. The first received three months of cognitive behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD and the second group had to wait three months before beginning therapy. 

Couples were assessed at the beginning, middle and end of treatment as well as three months after completing the therapy.  Researchers discovered 81 percent of couples who received the CBCT therapy reported decreased of their PTSD symptoms while 62 percent reported a better relationship with their partner. The improvements were maintained three months after therapy had been completed. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates PTSD affects one in every 10 Canadians while the National Center for PTSD estimates approximately 6.8 percent of people in the United States suffer PTSD.

If you need are dealing with any type of family issues in court, it is important to retain a compassionate St. Louis family attorney . Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Read the press release >>>

No One Injured When Man Bulldozes House With People Inside

No one was injured Wednesday when an angry man rammed a bulldozer into a North St. Louis house with people inside it. 

Jessica Braddock, along with her 8-year-old and 13-year-old daughters were in the house at 1314 Clara Avenue at the time. Braddock said she saw a man in a bulldozer jump out just before the bulldozer hit her house.

The house has been the center of a legal battle for the past year. According to the stltoday.com, Braddock lived their with 33-year-old Damon Walker, who was her boyfriend at the time. He was shot to death in April 2010 and she stayed in the house. His brother, Jermaine Walker, sued arguing the house was part of the estate and as such, should go to Damon's parents and brother, who were named the heirs because Damon and Broddock weren't married. He won that lawsuit, but she filed suit separately and was awaiting an October court date. 

If you are dealing with any type of property disputes, it is imperative to discuss your case with an attorney who can assist you. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Study: Men’s Alcohol Consumption Increased When Divorced

A study released today examining use of alcohol and relationships showed that long-term marriage can decrease the amount of alcohol men in the relationship consume, while increase the amount a woman consumes.

According to the study, a long-term realtionship was likely to help decrease a man's alcohol consumption, but slightly increases a woman's alcohol consumption.

However if a man is divorced, his alcohol consumption is "significantly greater" than his long-term married counterparts.

Woman, on the other hand, tended to consume slightly more alcohol if they were married for a long time than women with other marital statuses.

Researchers at the University of Cinncinnati studied data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study along with data from the Quality Over The Life Course Project and the Relationships and Health Habits Over The Life Course Study.

Alcohol consumption was measured by the total number of drinks consumed within a month.

Survey: Young Adults Still Optimistic About Marriage

A new survey shows despite the high rates of divorce and increasing number of babies born outside of marriage, young adults still have traditional expectations when they get married.

The survey was conducted by researchers at Clark University and involved a sample of 1029 18 to 29-year-olds from across the United States.

The poll showed 86 percent of young adults expected to get married and stay married for life. The survey also showed 73 percent of people polled believed couples should be married before having a baby together and 57 percent of people felt it was wrong to have sex with someone if the two were not emotionally connected.

Although many of the views seemed to be very traditional, 61 percent of young adults said they expect to give up some of their career goals in order to have the family life they want. Researchers found this to be the case with men as well as women.

The sample group was 51 percent male, 49 percent female and nearly 80 percent had at least a high school diploma. Twenty six percent of those surveyed were married and 30 percent already had at least one child.

Read the press release here >>>

Contact Us

Jeffrey A. Heater
Attorney at Law

5205 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Phone: (314) 541-7421

Fax: (314) 932-7672


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