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Wichita Divorce Blog

Are postnuptial agreements enforceable?

In the lead up to your marriage in Wichita, you probably heard from at least one person that a prenuptial agreement was something to at least consider. Your reluctance to create one may be understandable; many fear that requesting one from a fiancee may not be well-received. Yet now that you may be contemplating a divorce, the wisdom in having such an agreement to protect any personal assets you may have brought into the marriage is becoming more clear. Luckily, a postnuptial agreement can typically provide the same protections as its counterpart. 

Some may look at postnuptial agreements with a certain bit of skepticism, believing that if you ask for one then you must be preparing to ask for a divorce as well. Yet it should be remembered that a postnup functions in the same way as a prenup; all it does is specify which property remains personal rather than becoming a marital asset. 

Modifying your child support obligation

37197042_S.jpgEven after your divorce in Wichita, the love that you feel for your children does not change (nor does your desire to provide for them). Your financial circumstances, however, could, and this may place you in the position of struggling to meet your child support obligation. Many come to us here at the Stange Law Firm PC in this same situation questioning what their options are (and concerned that they may face legal trouble if they are unwilling to make their payments). If you share this same fear, you will be happy to know that there is indeed a way to modify your child support agreement. 

The question then becomes what circumstances would warrant a reconsideration of your obligation? Per the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the court will already automatically review your case every three years to determine whether its current constraints are still appropriate. You can petition, however, to have it reviewed on a more frequent basis. The court will consider reviews when your child reaches the milestone ages of six and twelve, or when a permanent change to your income would cause what state guidelines would mandate what you would pay to change from what you actually pay by 10 percent or more. 

Missing child support and your ability to travel

22973022_S.jpgPeople often focus on some of the more commonly-discussed consequences associated with unpaid child support, which include stiff financial penalties and being taken into custody. Although these are serious concerns that should worry any parent who has fallen behind on their child support, there are other consequences that may lie ahead for you if you are delinquent on your child support responsibilities. For example, you may not be able to get a passport and this could prevent you from traveling, potentially derailing plans that have been in place for months and sometimes years.

Many people travel for leisurely purposes and to take a break from their chaotic life (this can be especially true for those who have just been through a tricky divorce). This certainly is not the only reason why people cross borders, however. Others may need to attend a wedding, funeral or some other important event. Not to mention, many people have to travel for business purposes. Unfortunately, falling behind on child support can make all of this impossible.

How are a child's best interests determined?

10021021_S.jpgAs a parent in Kansas, you naturally want to do what is in your child's best interest in everything, including your divorce from your spouse and the child custody proceedings that result from it. However, in certain cases, the best interests of the child may be difficult to determine.

According to FindLaw, the main challenge to resolving a child custody dispute often comes down to the practicalities of maintaining and promoting close relationships between the child and each parent. For this reason, it is often a family court judge who makes a final custody decision, although mediation may allow parents and their attorneys to resolve the matter without the court's intervention. 

Mother and daughter disappear following custody hearing

48882687_S.jpgEven though the feelings that a married couple has for each other may change over time, the discord between them often may have no effect on how they feel for their children. This may explain why child custody disputes in Wichita can become so contentious. The hope may be that divorcing parents can put aside their differences and come to a custody agreement that is in the best interest of their children. However, the strong negative emotions sometimes felt between a separated couple may serve to convince both that their best interests reflect those of their kids, thus prompting them to hold out in their custody demands. 

The concern in such a case is that matters may escalate to the point of one parent potentially doing something rash (or even criminal) in order to get what they want. That appears to be what may have happened in an ongoing custody dispute in Texas. Authorities fear that a years-long custody battle between a local couple may have prompted the mother to flee with the little girl at the center of it all. The pair was last seen leaving a custody hearing in mid-September. The woman's car was later found abandoned, and neither the girl's father nor authorities have heard anything from them since. A warrant has since been issued for the mother's arrest. 

Is establishing paternity important for your child?

91833012_S.jpgIf you have had a child with someone who you do not anticipate maintaining a relationship with, you may wonder whether or not it is important that you have an official document that declares paternity. However, being proactive about determining in writing, who your child's biological parents are can actually prove to be quite beneficial to his or her future. If you are trying to determine whether or not paternity is important for your child in Kansas, you may be interested in the potential benefits of your decision. 

According to verywellfamily.com, in situations where your child's father is not interested in voluntarily declaring that he is your child's parent, you can receive assistance in tracking him down and requesting an official paternity test. If your child's father does voluntarily claim paternity, there are a couple of ways that he could do it including being present at your child's birth or completing a form after the child is born. However, this form must be filled out in its entirety before the child turns 18-years-old. 

Notoriety utilized by officials for child support enforcement

27299443_S.jpgIf asked to come up with an image of a deadbeat dad, most in Wichita may likely envision a man with no job, few prospects and little money. This likely comes from the assumption that those who can afford to make child support payments would, if (for nothing else) than to the avoid the potential legal trouble that can come from missing it. Yet the concept of the "deadbeat dad" may be more of a reflection of an attitude than it is one's financial situation. 

To understand this, one need only look at the "Deadbeats Most Wanted List," an online posting listing the divorced parents in Illinois that owe the most in child support arrears. This list came about as a result of new legislation passed by the state's governor in 2001. A review of the list shows several people one might think would be more than capable of making their payments. For example, currently occupying the top spot is a private-equity professional with a graduate degree from Harvard. He currenlty owes in excess of $5 million, having not made a payment since 2011. 

How can I afford a divorce?

46089472_S.jpgSometimes, couples put off divorce when they think they can't afford it. If the union is a contentious one, that may not always be the best course. Downloading divorce papers from an online site may not be a good choice either, however. Somewhere in the middle is an answer for couples who want a divorce but are worried about the cost.

Money is an issue in any divorce, but being hands-on and getting organized financially can help you save a great deal, according to U.S. News & World Report. Sometimes, however, it is easier to have attorneys track down legal documents, especially if you are unsure what you need.

How can you establish paternity?

30658660_S (1).jpgPopular media and other forums have seemingly made the process of establishing paternity a bad thing. This may be because such revelations are often given in the context of informing a reluctant individual that he is indeed the father of a child. Yet there may be just as many (if not more) advantages to you legally determining that a child is yours. Beyond the emotional bond that it establishes between you and your kid, confirming paternity may allow you visitation and custody rights, and makes it easier for you to secure benefits for and bequeath assets to your child. 

If this is your wish, then the question becomes how do you do it? Section 23-2208 of the Kansas Parentage Act sets forth the guidelines on how the state handles paternity matters. It recognizes a genetic test showing (with a greater than 97 percent probability) that a child is biologically linked to you as confirmation that you are his or her father. In all other cases, you are presumed to be the father if you meet the following criteria: 

  • You were married to the child's mother at the time of his or her birth or your marriage was terminated within 300 days of his or her birth
  • You attempted to marry the child's mother before he or she was born (or married her after he or she was born) yet said marriage is void or voidable
  • You recognize (either notoriously or in writing) that you are the child's father
  • You are required by court order to support the child (regardless of whether or not you were ever married to his or her mother

The problem with being a "Disneyland Dad"

25320706_S.jpgThe common school of thought is that the cards are stacked against men when it comes to being awarded custody of their children during divorce proceedings. While this has often proven to be true historically, recent data suggests that this trend may be reversing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of fathers who had custody of their kids rose from 16 percent in 1994 to 19.6 percent in 2016. Yet even with this increase, it seems that mothers might still be favored in custody proceedings. This may cause some men to become bitter and push them towards becoming "Disneyland Dads." 

A Disneyland Dad (or "Uncle Dad," as such fathers are referred to by Solo Parent Magazine) are those non-custodial fathers who are all about their kids having fun. Their visitation time is often spent at amusement parks, movie theaters and restaurants, while actual time at home is occupied by the kids playing video games, watching whatever movies or TV shows they want, and staying up all night. Many non-custodial fathers act like this in order to perpetually be viewed as "the fun parent," leaving all the actual parenting to this kids' mothers. This may be an attempt to undermine the mothers' authority, or simply to keep the fathers from become further alienated from their kids than they already are. 

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