Family law is an area that deals with all aspects of family relationships. Family Law encompasses:
- Child custody
- Children's rights
- Child support
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Separation agreements
- Dissolution of Marriage
- Motion to Modify
- Order of protection
- Division of marital properties
- Premarital agreements
- Restraining Orders
- Name Changes
A divorce can be the most difficult time in a person's life. Hiring a divorce attorney who has knowledge of the law and is able to negotiate terms in your best interest is vital.
Steve Hillemann with over 18 years of experience assisting individuals dealing with domestic issues can help you in your time of need.
No area of family law brings to the court room the tension, anxiety, hostility, volatility and raw emotion as the litigation of child support, maintenance, custody and visitation does. Rare is a divorce, dissolution or custody determination that the parties have been able to set aside personal differences to reach the goal of what is best for the children involved. Most often, the Judge will make great strides to get parents to come to a mutually acceptable custody agreement themselves if that is possible.
Marriage is a legal and business union as much as it is a romantic one. Because marriage is a legal and business arrangement, it is necessary to consult with an attorney about the advantages of premarital or prenuptial agreements. Many couples find it helpful to work through financial issues and the potential disagreements such issues can create before entering into a marriage.
Divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. From a legal standpoint, divorce restores an individual's right to marry someone else. The process also legally divides marital assets and debts and determines the care and custody of the children along with child support. Each state addresses these issues differently.
In some states you need to prove fault, commonly referred to as grounds, to obtain a divorce. However, Missouri allows at least one form of no-fault divorce in which the spouses are not required to prove that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage. In Missouri, either you or your spouse may obtain a divorce, even if one of you does not consent to the divorce, aslo known as no-fault grounds for divorce.
In most divorces, the primary issues to be decided are alimony or maintenance, property division, and, if there are children, child custody, visitation, and child support. When spouses agree on how to resolve these issues, they can usually obtain a divorce quickly. However, in many cases, divorcing spouses have disputes regarding their post-marriage financial arrangements and the care and custody of their children. Property division, child support and alimony are often contested issues in divorce proceedings, but the early advice of a family law attorney may be able to impact the ultimate result favorably.
Child Custody and Visitation
The care and upbringing of children following divorce is often an ongoing source of conflict for divorcing parents. Custody must address both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody typically involves rights and how many overnights the children will spend with each parent. Legal custody typically involves allocating the legal rights and responsibilities associated with the child's upbringing.
Sometimes the parents agree to a visitation arrangement and other times the Court determines one for them. In the past, Courts routinely gave mothers physical custody and gave fathers visitation rights. Today, the Courts have begun to realize that sometimes it is in the best interest of the children to reside with the father and reverse the roles of the parents. In general, the Courts favor joint custody with he children residing where it is most practical and where they will flourish. The advice and assistance of a family law attorney can help parents to establish child custody and visitation agreements that focus on the interests of the children.
Parents must financially support their children. That obligation usually lasts until the child reaches the age of majority (usually 18 or 21 years old depending on state law) or becomes self-supporting. An order for child support may be entered during or after a divorce, and either parent may be ordered to pay support depending upon how custody is arranged. In most states, an unmarried mother may also file a petition for child support in Family Court, and an order for support will be entered once paternity has been established.
A parent who fails to remain current on his or her child support obligations faces significant penalties. Every state has a child support enforcement office that works with the Family Court to suspend professional or business licenses, take away driver and recreational licenses, require payment of future owed sums in advance, or place non-paying parents in jail when child support obligations are overdue. Because of the state specific requirements involved in child support, parents can benefit from the advice and involvement of a family law attorney at our firm when child support issues arise.
Every adoption, whether foreign or domestic, requires the action and approval of a Court to become final, and each state has its own adoption policies and procedures. Most states have measures in place to assess the fitness of the adopting parents. Adopted children generally receive all the benefits afforded to natural children, and parents owe adopted children the same legal duties of care and support owed to a natural or birth child of the marriage.
Each state has its own policies and procedures controlling child adoption. Most states have measures in place to assess the fitness of the adopting parents. Upon adoption, adopted children generally receive all the benefits afforded to natural children and parents owe adopted children all the legal duties of care and support owed to a natural or birth child of the marriage. A family law attorney at our firm who offers adoption-related services can help both adoptive and birth parents throughout all phases of the adoption process.
The law firm of Coyne, Cundiff & Hillemann, P.C. has lawyers ready to handle all of these matters. Our domestic lawyers do not practice in any other areas of law. If you would like to set up a free consultation with one of our domestic lawyers, please call our office at 636-561-5599 or Send an Email.