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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 Property Division Lawyer: Following Missouri’s Laws

Every state has its own set of marital and divorce laws.  Missouri law has very specific provisions on how property is to be divided in case of a divorce.  Determining how property should be divided can be complicate, which is why it is extremely important to have a St. Louis property division lawyer representing you throughout the entire divorce process.  Even if you and your spouse purportedly agree on division of assets you may not realize the full range of decisions that must be made and you may leave some loose ends.  Such unsettled issues can cause a court to not approve your divorce petition.  Jeffrey A. Heater is a dedicated and experienced divorce attorney who is well-versed in Missouri marital laws and can help you reach a fair agreement for your property division. Continue reading

St. Louis Prenuptial Agreement Attorney: Drafting Enforceable Prenups

Prenuptial agreements are also known as anti-nuptial agreements or premarital agreements and are often abbreviated to “prenup.”  Whatever they are called these agreements are entered into by two people who are about to marry.  The content of these agreements widely varies depending on the couple’s wishes however prenups often set out terms for spousal support or property division in the event of a future divorce.  One issue that is never allowed in prenups is child custody.  Originally courts in the United States believed that prenups corrupted marriages because they anticipated divorce from the very beginning and they would not uphold the agreements in court.  Modern courts generally recognize prenuptial agreements though courts do not always enforce the all of the provisions of the agreements.  For this reason it is imperative that you hire a St. Louis prenuptial agreement attorney to draft your agreement to ensure that it is later enforceable in court. 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.

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

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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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