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Wichita Divorce Blog

Bot parents arrested in custody dispute

It may be of little surprise that child custody proceedings in Wichita can become heated. The hope is that divorcing parents can put aside any negative feelings that they might have for each other and work together to come up with an amicable arrangement that truly is in their kids' best interests. However, given the emotion that parents feel towards their children, expecting them to remain agreeable when their time with their kids appears threatened may be unrealistic. However, both parents involved in a custody dispute will both realize that any rash actions they may take might ultimately only impact their own chances of securing a favorable ruling. 

In many cases where divorcing parents resort to drastic measures to try and keep their kid, they are the only ones who are panelized. Yet on rare occasions, both parents may be. That could certainly be in store for a New Jersey couple after both were arrested following a dispute over the custody of their daughter. Authorities were called in to investigate the abduction of a little girl by her father. He was later located in a nearby building and, after a long standoff with authorities, surrendered himself. Further investigation revealed that the child's mother (who had contacted the police), had actually assisted the father in fleeing from authorities in an earlier encounter. Now, both parents face criminal charges. 

Debt and your divorce

42836705_S.jpgIt is not uncommon for married couples in Kansas who experience challenging financial troubles to end up choosing to get divorced. Many a marriage has suffered or ended due to money issues. In these situations, each spouse should take care to protect themselves so they are set up to move forward toward a more positive financial future.

As explained by CreditCards.com, one thing that should be done as soon as a couple knows they are going to split up is to cancel all joint credit cards. This may help stem the addition of ongoing debt. Each person should also plan to keep very detailed records of all expenses in the event that they need to prove what debts incurred were or were not actually theirs. 

Mortgage realities during a divorce

17848843_S.jpgDivorcing spouses in Kansas who own a home together must at some point in their settlement discussions decide what they will do with their marital home. The emotional tug to keep the home can be quite strong, especially for families with young children. The ability to allow kids to stay in their original home at least while they are with one of their parents can provide some stability for them. This, however, may not be the best decision from a financial perspective.

As explained by The Mortgage Reports, if both people's names remain on a mortgage, then both parties remain financially liable for the debt. If one person wants to stay in the home, they should find a way to refinance and get a new loan in their name only. This is truly the only way to eliminate the other spouse's responsibility for the home loan.

Having a voice in creating your parenting plan

48488785_S.jpgThe general assumption is that when you go into child custody proceedings as a father, the deck is already stacked against. Countless men come to us here at the Stange Law Firm with this same fear, and it does seem justified. Statistics typically show that a majority of parents awarded primary custody are women. Yet you should know that (at least not in Kansas) this is not a legal precedent, and that as a father, you are entitled to as much authority over the raising of your children as your ex-wife. 

Kansas state law confirms this. Section 23-3204 of the state's Family Law Code confirms that there is no presumption that it is in the best interest of children to have sole custody awarded to their mother. This fact is particularly relevant in the establishment of your parenting plan. The law states that the minimum requirements of the plan are to be: 

  • Establishing the legal custodial relationship of your children
  • Creating an appropriate parenting time schedule
  • Designating a process through which disputes between the two of you are to be resolved without the need for judicial intervention
  • If one of you is a service member, creating an amendment to the plan that accommodates yours or your ex-wife's military obligations

What authority do you retain as a divorced dad?

28858038_S.jpgIt may be easy to feel as though you are being squeezed out of your children's lives after having divorced their mother. This is likely due to the perception amongst many in Wichita that mothers are typically favored by the courts in custodial matters. While the law states that technically no parent is favored in custodial proceedings, the aforementioned perception is supported by statistics, which generally show that custodial parents are often mothers. Yet simply because that has been a historical trend does not mean it applies to your case. Indeed, you should be aware of what authority you retain as a divorced father. 

Just what are those? It depends on your unique situation. According to the Kansas Bar Association, if your ex-wife has been granted sole custody of your children, then she is also empowered with decision-making authority. This allows her to make important decisions regarding your children's primary residence, where they will go to school and what activities they will participate in. She also makes the decisions regarding their health care. You are allowed input in these areas, yet ultimately, the final say is hers. 

Are postnuptial agreements enforceable?

20672438_S.jpgIn 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. 

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