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St. Louis Child Support Lawyer: How Child Support is Calculated in Missouri

When two people have a child together the law imposes responsibilities on both parents to provide for the needs of the child. Under Missouri law the parent with custody supports the child directly, and a court may impose a duty of child support on the parent without custody. Courts can impose a duty of child support even if the parent with custody has the means to support a child. Child support can place a significant strain on a person’s finances and can also have a significant impact on your child’s well-being. As a result it is important for anyone facing a child support issue to consult with an experienced St. Louis child support lawyer. Continue reading

Many Couples Tackle Mortgage Before Marriage

Many couples are purchasing their first home together before tying the knot, according to new research released last week. 

Approximately 25 percent of couples aged 18 to 34 are opting to purchase their first home before getting married, compared with 14 percent of married couples aged 45 and older according to a recent Coldwell Banker Real Estate survey. 

According to data collected, 80 percent of couples said a home purchased strengthened their bond more than any other purchase they had made. 

Coupled with recent information from the Centers for Disease Control, the trend of cohabitating before marriage has been quantified. The CDC data showed that from 2006 through 2010, 48 percent of women in the United States between the ages of 15 to 44 said they cohabitated with a romantic partner without walking down the aisle. 

The survey collected data from 2,116 adults from March 8-12, 2013. 

The implications of buying a home before legally marrying could have serious ramifications, however. Buying a house together can give you equal ownership, but not joint ownership of the property, meaning that if one of the pair dies, their share of the property would get passed onto any heirs of theirs and not the significant other. 

Other issues arise if the couple splits and doesn't get married as well. Then they both own a property with someone they do not want to be with anymore and they have to agree what they will do with it. 

If you are considering getting married, you may want to discuss your situation with a St. Louis family lawyer to make sure your bases are covered. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Happy Newlyweds May Gain More In First Years Of Wedded Bliss

A new study suggests newlyweds who are happy may have a lot of things going for them, but unfortunately keeping their weight under control may not be one of them. 

The study conducted by researchers at Southern Methodist University in Dallas found those satisfied with their marriage gain weight in the first years after tying the knot, which can put them at an increased risk for many health problems. 

Lead researcher and assistant professor Andrea L. Meltzer said the findings challenge the long-held belief that good marriages are always beneficial to the health of those involved.

Researchers looked at 169 newlywed couples and both their marital satisfaction and weight were tracked throughout four years. They found that on average, males and females both gained one tenth of a BMI unit every six months. 

Meltzer suggests that those who were unhappy may be considering divorce and being single so they may watch their weight more closely.

"On average, spouses who were more satisfied with their marriage were less likely to consider leaving their marriage, and they gained more weight over time," said Meltzer. "In contrast, couples who were less satisfied in their relationship tended to gain less weight over time."

The findings were titled "Marital Satisfaction Predicts Weight Gain In Early Marriage" and was published in Health Psychology online. 

If you are considering a change in marital status, it is important to speak with a St. Louis family attorney who can help you explore your options. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Majority Of Women Cohabitate Before Age 30

The majority of women have lived with a partner without being married by age 30 according to a new survey released this week. 

According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 percent of unmarried partners continued on to marriage within three years. The report studied survey of more than 12,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. Researchers also found that about 33 percent of those partnerships continued to stay together without marrying and another 27 percent saw their relationships break up. 

According to the report, more people are putting off marriage due to finances or because they view it as financially risky. Forty-eight percent of women surveyed lived with a partner as a first union, which is a 14 percent increase since 1995. Only 23 percent of first unions were marriages compared with 39 percent in 1995. 

Education played a role in the likelihood a woman would live with a partner before marriage. Nearly 70 percent of women without a high school diploma lived with a partner as their first union compared with 47 percent of women with bachelor's degrees. Women who didn't graduate high school were less likely to marry within three years compared with those who graduated high school. 

Also 20 percent of women became pregnant in the first year of living with a partner and only five percent of college-educated women got pregnant within that time period. 

If you would like to review more of the researchers' findings, check out the report on the CDC site. 

If you are in need of a Missouri family lawyer, give our office a call today for your free, initial consultation.

Sharing Chores Responsabilities Makes For A Happier Marriage

Researchers from three universities have found that husbands who participate in child rearing as well as household tasks are most likely to have marriages that both spouses describe as happy and high quality. 

Furthermore researchers found that the strongest factor in how the couple viewed the marriage was the woman's perception of the quality of the dad's personal relationship with the kids and the next factor was the wife's perception of how her husband took care of the children. 

The study "Father Involvement, Father-Child Relationship Quality, and Satisfaction with Family Work: Actor and Partner Influences on Marital Quality," was published in the Journal of Family Issues and utilized researchers from the University of Missouri along with Utah State University and Bringham Young University.  They studied how 160 couples handled housework and child-rearing duties to see what helped or hurt the quality of their marriage. 

Researchers noted sharing did not necessarily mean the chores were divided equally, but that both partners pitched in and took care of responsibilities as needed. 

The couples were married for an average of five years and had a child aged five or younger. Most of the parents were between 25 and 30 years old and about 40 percent of the women had full or part-time jobs. 

"The more wives perceived that husbands were engaged in routine family work tasks, the better the relationships were for both partners,” Galovan said. "Wives in our study viewed father involvement and participation in household chores as related. Doing household chores and being engaged with the children seem to be important ways for husbands to connect with their wives, and that connection is related to better couple relationships.”

If you are in need of a St. Louis area family attorney, give our office a call today. 

Couples Who Are Struggling In Marriage Benefit From Counseling

Couples who are less educated or who have a high degree of disparity between education levels are more likely to divorce than well-educated couples, according to a new study published in the journal of Family Relations. 

Researchers also found that even for well-educated couples, stresses of marriage along with strains on family time can lead to a difficult or broken marriage, however they also found that the best course of action when marriages ran into trouble was to consult a marriage or family counselor. 

The study was conducted by PsychologeCollegeFinder.org, a site that works with psychology colleges to help new psychology professionals. 

According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, there are more than 15,000 marriage and family therapy counselors in the United States. 

If you are in need of a Missouri family attorney, contact our office today for your free, initial consultation.

New Study Finds Costs For Some In Delaying Marriage

While the average age of marrying couples continues to rise, a new study suggests that in spite of there being possible benefits, there are also many costs associated with delaying marriage.

A report released Friday from the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project named, "Knot Yet" found that the average marrying age has climbed to the highest it ever has been, which is 26.5 for women and 28.7 for men. Researchers noted that women earned an annual income premium if they wait until 30 or later to marry. For college-educated women in their mid thirties, the premium amounted to $18,152.

Secondly, delayed marriage helped to bring down the divorce rate in the United States since the early 1980s because couples marrying in their early twenties and teens are more likely to divorce than couples marrying later.

However, there are many costs associated with the marriage delay. Researchers found delaying marriage was most detrimental for middle class Americans who are not college educated. More women are having a baby before entering a marriage and by age 25, 44 percent of women have had a baby while only 38 percent of women have married. Currently, 48 percent of first births are to unmarried women, usually in their twenties.

The only group of women who still typically have a baby after marrying are college-educated women, who usually have their first baby two years after marrying.

Researchers noted the crossover of women having many children outside of marriage was especially troubling because those children are more likely to experience family instability, school failure and emotional problems and are three times as likely to see their parents break up.

Researchers also found that unmarried twenty somethings, especially those who were single were more likely to drink to excess, be depressed and report lower levels of satisfaction with their lives. Thirty five percent of single and cohabitating men reported they were "highly satisfied" with their life compared to 52 percent of married men. Thirty three percent of single women and 29 percent of cohabitating women were "highly satisfied," compared to 47 percent of married women.

If you are in need of a family attorney in Missouri, call our office today for your an initial consultation.

Study: Link Between Divorce and Children’s Religious Choices May Be Overstated

A study found children of religious parents who divorce are twice as likely to leave the church following their parents' split compared with children whose parents stay together, but that the link between religious practice and parental marital status may be overstated.

According to their report, they also found that growing up in a single-parent family did not have any effect on private religious life. Professor of sociology Jeremy Uecker said previous research has left out or downplayed key factors that may be more relevant to an individual's faith other than the role of divorce by itself.

"People who are less religious are more likely to get divorced," Uecker said. "And if the parents are of different religions or differing levels of religiosity from one another, they also are more likely to divorce. So if we ignore that, we're overstating the effects of divorce itself on religious outcomes."

He argued the main reason divorce could affect religious outcomes was that children are separated from one of their parents and parents are usually considered the primary source of religious training for their children. Additionally, a parent who has been divorced may feel unwelcome or stigmatized in certain religious settings.

The study, conducted by Uecker, a sociologist at Baylor University, and Christopher G. Ellison, PhD, a sociologist at the University of Texas in San Antonio examined data from more than 3,300 respondents aged 18 to 87 taken from social surveys conducted in 1991,1998 and 2008.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to obtain a Missouri divorce attorney you can trust. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Divorce Rates Increase In Older Population

The face of divorce is slowly changing. Even though approximately 45 percent of marriages in the United States will end with divorce and many of those are younger couples, divorces among people aged 50 or older doubled from 1990 to 2008. 

In 2008, one in every four divorces was involving people in that age group according to a new report entitled "The Gray Divorce Revolution," released by sociology researchers at Bowling Green State University.

Researchers found that those in second or subsequent marriages were 2.5 times more likely to divorce in this age group as those in first-time marriages. They also found African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to divorce than whites. 

Most previous research studying divorce trends focused on younger couples and little research has been connducted up to this point on the aging population. 

Although many of them may not be dealing with issues like custody of children, there is a whole new set of problems that arise for couples divorcing in the later years. Older divorcing couples will have to figure out how to divide joint assets such as stocks and retirement accounts equitably at a time when retirement is around the corner or they have already entered retirement. 

They also may have to rely more on their adult children and other family members to take care of them while they age, as opposed to relying on a spouse to help provide support. 

If you are facing a divorce at any age, it is important to think out and discuss all the factors that need to be considered. You may find the process easier by consulting with a Missouri divorce attorney who can help you make sure you are addressing all possible issues. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce among Middle-aged and Older Adults, 1990-2009

Study Shows Drinking Habits May Affect Marriage Success

A new study showed couples with different drinking habits were more likely to divorce. 

The study, conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health followed 19,977 couples and their alcohol consumption over a 15-year period. 

Researchers discovered that couples who both drank a large amount were not the most likely to divorce, probably because they were on the same page with drinking. Those couples divorce at a little more than 17 percent. Instead they found that when a wife drinks more than her husband, a marriage has a 26.8 percent chance of failing. If the husband was a heavy drinker, but the wife was not, the divorce rate was 13.1 percent. 

When couples consumed the same amounts of alcohol, they were also less likely to divorce. 

Couples with the best shot at their marriage working were those who consumed little or no alcohol. Those couples divorced about 5.8 percent of the time. 

The findings were published in Tuesday's online edition of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. 

If you or your loved one is facing a divorce it is best to have a Missouri divorce lawyer by your side to navigate the legal waters of a divorce. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Contact Us

Jeffrey A. Heater
Attorney at Law

5205 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Phone: (314) 541-7421

Fax: (314) 932-7672

jeff@heaterlaw.com

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