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Wichita Divorce Blog

Steps to positive co-parenting

For divorcing parents in Kansas, the thought of working collaboratively with their former partner can seem all but impossible. However, this is exactly what is needed in order to raise children after a divorce. A high level of consciousness is required in making this happen and that can include reminding oneself of some guidelines along the way.

Very Well Family recommends that parents find a way to both develop a schedule that maps out when kids will be with each parent but simultaneously leave the door open for changes that may be needed at times. This type of flexibility may be necessitated by a change in the child's schedule or activities, the illness of a parent or other family member or more. Regardless of the reason, accommodating life's unexpected happenings with grace can help teach children how to do this as well.

Paternity cases: what's in a name?

When two unmarried parents decide to end their relationship, it is still necessary to make legal provisions for the support and custody of their children, just as it is to make similar provisions for the children of married parents who decide to divorce. It is common for attorneys to refer to the former type of proceeding as a paternity case. We at Stange Law Firm know that, as a father involved in a paternity case in Kansas, you probably have many questions regarding how the legal arrangements pertaining to the split will affect your children and your relationship with them. 

One question you may have that may cause an issue between you and your former partner pertains to your child's last name. The question that often arises is whether the child will bear your last name or that of his or her mother. 

Including the cost of daycare in child support

Foregoing your career ambitions to stay home and raise your kids in Wichita may be a sacrifice that you are perfectly willing to make. Yet what happens, then, if you and your spouse subsequently choose to get a divorce? The simple answer is that you re-enter the workforce. Yet if your kids are still at an age where they require consistent adult supervision, that may be difficult. Daycare quickly becomes a necessity, yet its costs can be high. Thus, many in your same situation come to us here at the Stange Law Firm PC asking if sharing such costs can be included in their divorce agreements. 

Information compiled by the Boston Globe shows the average cost of daycare in Kansas to be over $10,500 annually. If you do not yet have gainful employment, affording those costs may be next to impossible. Yet you need not worry; the court considers many factors beyond simply paying for the rooming and boarding of your children when determining child support. 

Remember your estate plan when getting divorced

If you and your spouse in Kansas have been struggling with marital difficulties and finally decided that divorce is the right option for you, you know that there are many decisions you will now have to make. Certainly, there are numerous immediate decisions you must address such as where you will live, who will the kids be with on what days and how you will tell friends and family members about your divorce.

In addition to these things, you should not forget about other decisions that may have long-lasting effects on your life and your financial assets and future. When it comes to estate planning documents, Forbes indicates that there are some things you may be able to update as soon as you and your spouse separate or file for divorce. One example of such a document may be your advanced health care directive which allows another person to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. 

Both parents arrested in custody dispute

67068002_S.jpgIt 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. 

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