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Is Legal Separation Better For You Than Divorce?

Considering divorce but remain unsure about ending your marriage? Then, legal separation is an option to consider.

A legal separation may be advantageous in some situations, because it allows couples time apart to determine what they really want. It can give a couple that does not know if they would like to divorce a chance to try out the arrangement and see if it works for them.

A separated couple may still share medical benefits and other benefits that may be ended in a divorce. Couples may decide to legally separate if they do not have the funds to go through a divorce process. It may also be an option for couples that have religious beliefs that conflict with divorce.

If you decide on a legal separation, at least to begin with, there will be many items to iron out, much like a divorce. St. Louis divorce attorney Jeffrey Heater can help guide you through the process and your options.

Both parties need to agree on maintenance (aka alimony), child custody, child support as well as division of property. Since this may lay the groundwork for an eventual divorce, it is vital you comb through the terms of the legal separation and make sure each aspect works for you. In the instance that you and your spouse reconcile, the agreement may be voided.

If you think legal separation might be an option for you, it is crucial to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help you draw up terms that work for you during a separation and should you decide later to seek a divorce. Call Jeffrey Heater today at 314.541.7421 for your initial consultation.

Brentwood Family Law Attorney – Who Determines Final Custody Arrangements In A Divorce

Child custody can oftentimes be the most important area defined in a divorce. When working out the terms, it is crucial you have an aggressive Brentwood family law attorney who will fight for a good arrangement that will work for you.

If the two parties in a divorce cannot agree on a custody arrangement, an experienced Brentwood family law attorney will draft a proposed parenting plan outlining what solution may work and why it is the best option. According to Missouri law, no preference is given to either parent due to a parent’s age, sex or financial status. Additionally, the age or sex of the child cannot be a factor in determining custody. Continue reading

Understanding The Divorce Process – St. Louis Divorce Attorney

If you are considering getting a divorce, it is imperative to retain the services of a St. Louis divorce attorney to help you navigate the process.

Missouri is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that there does not have to be a specific reason or misconduct by either party involved in order to seek a divorce. Divorces can be highly emotional and challenging for all parties involved, which is why it is important to seek the counsel of a St. Louis divorce attorney who can help you in the process. Continue reading

Understanding Prenuptial Agreements – St. Louis Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

If you are planning ton getting married, you may want to schedule a meeting to discuss prenuptial agreements with you St. Louis prenuptial agreement lawyer.

A prenuptial agreement encompasses all marriage contracts made before a marriage occurs determining what estates, real or personal, are owned by one party and would remain in their possession should a marriage be dissolved. A St. Louis prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you every step of the way. Continue reading

St. Louis Divorce Lawyer: Uncontested v. Contested Divorces

Usually when a marriage falls apart both spouses recognize the need for a divorce.  Missouri is a no-fault divorce state which means the divorce does not need to be blamed on one particular spouse or their actions.  You can dissolve the marriage without a showing of particular wrongdoing by either party or a breach of the marriage contract.  This often makes the proceedings more peaceful with less finger-pointing or blaming.  However even though the divorce may be amicable it is still important for each spouse to have their own St. Louis divorce attorney to ensure their needs are met and rights upheld.  Also the proceedings could take a turn for the worst at any time if you disagree on certain terms. If they do you want an experienced attorney representing you. Continue reading

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


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