Family law is a unique area of the United States legal world, due to the fact that these courts are designed to take additional consideration to the needs of a family, and not just the interpretation of the law and required outcomes. We approach these cases with discretion and sensitivity and will look for the best outcome for our clients and their children. This means that family cases may often result in a special ruling that is intended to accommodate the safety and wellbeing of any children impacted by this situation above all – if there are children involved.
If you are preparing for a divorce, need support through adoption, or need support through any other family legal matters, contact the team at Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC as soon as possible for a free consultation. Speaking with one of our attorneys during this initial consultation is a great way to give you an understanding of the level of experience and care that you will be getting as a client of Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC, and is a great opportunity to get specific answers and insight about the process. We understand that this time in your life may be difficult or stressful, which is why we look forward to supporting you every step of the way.
Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC Family Law Practice Areas
The following are general overviews of our practice areas in Jefferson City, MO family law. Whether or not you see the specific family law issue that you need support with mentioned below, reach out to us today so that we can discuss the specific nature of your case and get a better understanding of how we can work together to get you the legal help that you need.
Going through a divorce or separation is a complicated and messy process, no matter how willing to work together each spouse may be. There are a variety of ways that a divorce can be handled in Missouri, which is a “no-fault” state – meaning you will not need to prove anything like abuse, cruelty, abandonment, or other marital problems in order to move forward with filing. The only requirement is that one of the spouses is a Missouri resident for 90 days, and the petitioner will file a “Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage” with the courts to initiate the process. If you believe that you will be in danger once your spouse is notified, we will help you to ensure your safety and the safety of your children.
Once filed, we will help you work through the rest of the process by identifying whether or not mediation is an appropriate approach with your spouse, and will begin working through the many details necessary to finalize the divorce, such as your assets and debts, child custody, spousal support, and more. We will either work directly with your spouse and their attorney for a collaborative divorce or will take a more aggressive approach if you or your spouse is unwilling to work together.
Child custody is divided into two types: legal, and physical. Legal custody applies to the control each custodian has over legal matters relating to the child, such as medical care, education, and more. Physical custody applies to the actual physical location of the child, and where they live. Both types of custody can be divided into either sole custody (meaning that one parent or guardian has sole control of the legal, physical, or both types of custodies), and joint custody (where both parents divide custody, although not necessarily equally).
The courts will decide custody matters based on the best interests of the children above all. The wishes of both parents will be considered, certainly, but if you and your spouse agree on a custody arrangement that the courts deem to be unsafe or unproductive for the children involved, it will be denied. We will work to find an arrangement that works for you and your children..
After a divorce, it is common that one spouse is left in a much different financial situation once they are on their own. This is why the courts allow for spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony, to provide the financially-dependant spouse with a transitionary period so that they can adjust to their new life. Without the possibility of alimony, many people may feel trapped in a marriage simply to ensure that they have financial support, so knowing that this option exists can help people get out of a marriage that is otherwise dangerous, abusive, or simply beyond repair.
Spousal support is not a punitive tool, and the courts will not treat it as such. The amounts and terms of this arrangement will not change based on things like infidelity or abuse. They are based on the financial situations of both spouses, and will be agreed to with a certain payment arrangement for a specific term, and can be voided based on a variety of changes to the recipient’s financial situation, such as remarrying.
Property and Asset Division
Not all property is considered during a divorce, but we will first need to go through and identify your property as either marital property or non-marital property. Non-marital property is a property that you possessed before the marriage, and your marital finances were not used to maintain this property. Marital property is anything acquired during the marriage, and a number of other, more specific situations. Assets such as bank accounts and retirement funds are also included in this section, as well as all marital debts including credit cards, mortgages, loans, and more.
The courts will divide the property “equitably,” which is not the same as 50/50. In order to identify what an equitable division of property looks like in your marriage, the courts will want to see information about both spouses’ financial situations in order to determine the fairest division.
If you are planning to welcome a new member to your family through legal adoption, this rewarding process can be complicated and sometimes frustrating. We will help you through every step to ensure that you and the individual(s) that you are planning to adopt are able to get through this process as quickly as possible. Putting a child up for adoption is another complex and intimate process and we highly recommend working with an experienced family lawyer in Jefferson City to ensure that this entire journey goes as smoothly as possible.