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Overland Park Family Law Blog

Seeking high asset divorce after age 50? Read this

Most Kansas residents are aware that lifestyle choices can affect their health, sometimes in good ways, others quite bad. For instance, it is well-known that cigarette smoking is closely connected to lung cancer, so those who smoke place themselves at risk for the disease. Other situations can also have a potentially negative impact on physical, mental and emotional health, including high asset divorce.

Current data shows that getting divorced later in life can spark numerous health concerns. Even when the person in question is the one who initially filed for divorce, he or she may be unprepared for the feelings of isolation, loneliness or depression that sometimes set in afterward. Many older people also often suffer from insomnia after a divorce, perhaps because their bodies were simply so used to having their spouses next to them during the night.

Are property division proceedings part of your new year plan?

Many Kansas residents set new goals when a new year begins. For some, such goals may include filing for divorce. Numerous challenges may surface when negotiating a settlement, particularly where property division issues are concerned. The more a spouse learns before heading to court regarding state laws and regulations governing marital property in divorce, the easier it may to overcome any obstacles that arise.

Kansas is not one of the nine states that continue to operate under community property laws in divorce. Rather, it is a state that governs such issues under equitable property guidelines. Therefore, a key factor anyone ending a marriage in this state should know is that the court will divide all marital property in a fair manner, but that does not necessarily mean assets will be split 50/50.

A prenuptial agreement might affect property division proceedings

Thinking back to the days before you got married, you may recall some hesitation on yours or your intended spouse's part regarding the topic of signing a prenuptial agreement. Perhaps, you thought it unromantic at the time. Since many years have passed and you have now decided that your marriage is not sustainable, you may be glad you finally agreed to sign a prenuptial agreement as you prepare for property division proceedings.

Like the majority of states in the nation, Kansas governs property division proceedings under equitable division regulations. This means that your marital property won't necessarily be split 50/50 when your divorce is finalized. If you designated certain property or assets in your prenup as being separately owned, you will definitely want to make sure the court  is aware of this fact.

Jon Gosselin thinks he should have child custody of his son

There is a 14-year-old boy in another state, currently residing at an inpatient facility. The teenager has special needs and happens to be one of eight children in the Gosselin family. His parents, Jon and Kate, are former TV stars; in fact, many reality show fans in Kansas may remember them from "Jon & Kate Plus Eight." The Gosselin's son is scheduled to be released from the inpatient program a few days before Christmas, and his father has filed a petition for child custody.

Jon Gosselin is seeking sole custody of his son. If awarded, this would mean that not only would the boy live with his dad full time, Gosselin would also have decision-making authority concerning the boy's education, health and other important life issues. The parents divorced in 2009. This situation is an example of post-divorce co-parenting problems that can arise long after a divorce is finalized.

Age may affect how children react to child custody situations

There is never an easy way to tell children that parents are getting divorced. The more prepared a Kansas parent is ahead of time, the less stressful it may be. It's important to understand typical childhood reactions and to provide support and encouragement, especially concerning child custody issues.  

A younger child may show signs of regression if they are of an age where they somewhat understand what is happening, at least that one parent is not going to live with him or her anymore. Some parents later say that they noticed signs of stress in their toddlers, perhaps having bathroom accidents once they'd already been potty trained. Other parents say their children experienced a heightened level of separation anxiety once the parents actually separated.  

Kansas parents with child custody issues may relate to Kardashian

Kansas reality TV fans are likely familiar with the show, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." One of the stars of the show, Khloe Kardashian, has been facing child custody issues regarding her daughter and the child's biological father, NBA star Tristan Thompson, to whom Kardashian has never been married. The relationship status between a newborn's parents impacts child-related issues such as legal and physical custody.

Kardashian was unmarried when she gave birth to her daughter, which meant she automatically gained sole legal and physical custody of the child. Legal custody pertains to decisions made on behalf of the child. A parent with sole legal custody typically has full discretion to make important life decisions regarding the a child's health, schooling, faith, etc.

Respectful communication is key to amicable child custody plans

Many Kansas married couples choose to untie their marital knots when problems or disagreements between them are unresolved and there does not seem to be way to improve their situations. When such couples also happen to be parents together, some of the bad feelings related to the marriage can creep into child custody negotiations. Most good parents want to keep their children's best interests in mind as the move forward to new, separate lifestyle. Respectful communication plays a big part in achieving that goal.

It is difficult to nearly impossible to devise a peaceful co-parenting plan if the two parents involved cannot even be in the same room without fighting. There are several ways to improve such situations. The first is to be mindful of one's words and actions. If parents act on their emotions, they are more likely to fly off the handle at each other, especially if the marriage did not end amicably. Choosing words and actions carefully helps lay the groundwork for peaceful negotiations that focus on what is best for the kids.

What influence might friends have toward a high asset divorce?

Many Kansas households include married couples who have close circles of friends. Such friends typically have a lot in common with them, such as average income, children or no children, as well as what types of social activities they tend to enjoy most. Many people are influenced by the actions of their peers, even in a high asset divorce.

If a spouse is considering filing for divorce but is hesitant because he or she knows that property division and other issues would be quite complex and challenging to resolve, he or she may look toward friends who have been in similar situations to see what ultimate decisions they made. If a spouse has one or more friends who have not only divorced but appear to have done so quite amicably and successfully, he or she is more likely to see divorce as a viable option for resolving an unhappy marriage rather than something to avoid. When high assets are at stake, it is understandable that a spouse would want to make sure his or her best interests are protected.

Warrant out for man's arrest in child custody dispute

The father of a 4-year-old boy has been engaged in a dispute with the child's mother for nearly a year. He has made serious accusations against her and, at one point, took his son to live in another state. Since that time, however, the judge who oversees the case has repeatedly ordered the man to return his son to the state in which the mother lives. Kansas parents facing similar child custody problems may want to follow this case. 

The mother reportedly suffered from substance abuse problems in the past, thus prompting the court to prohibit her from parenting her child. Such restrictions are no longer in place. However, the child's father has refused to bring him back, despite at least six separate court orders to do so. In light of the man's refusal to return the child, the judge has issued a warrant for his arrest.  

Talking to kids about child custody and divorce

Children typically thrive in settings that are structured and centered on healthy routines. However, many Kansas families experience upsets from time to time, especially when parents decide to divorce. Such situations often include contentious child custody issues, which can cause children high levels of stress.  

The way a parent approaches such topics of discussion with his or her kids impacts the children's ability (or lack thereof) to cope. A parent must keep each child's age and level of maturity in mind before discussing serious issues, such as which parent the child will live with or why both parents are no longer going to live under one roof. It is not uncommon for children to feel angry, sad, afraid or all of the above upon learning that parents are getting divorced.  

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