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Overland Park Family Law Blog

Dispute resolution is often a factor in child custody proceedings

When Kansas parents determine that their marriages are no longer sustainable, they often encounter challenges regarding family issues after filing for divorce. Child custody is a high priority in many divorce cases. Things can get messy if parents disagree as to what is best for their kids.

The court can't finalize a divorce until all those issues are worked out. The question is whether parents will be able to amicably negotiate their own solutions or a judge will have to intervene and make decisions for them. There are typically several options, and what works for one set of spouses might not be the best idea for another.

Protect your rights in Kansas property division proceedings

Divorce is not easy. Most Kansas spouses encounter numerous challenges as they negotiate terms for a settlement. If you have children, you and your spouse might disagree about custody or finances. Such disputes often intensify turmoil in situations that are already stressful. When it comes it property division proceedings, a concerned spouse would do well to seek guidance and support from an experienced family law attorney to help achieve a fair outcome.

Kansas is an equitable property state, which means the judge overseeing your case will determine a fair division of all assets and liabilities. It does not necessarily mean the split will be 50/50. There is often room for bargaining if you or your spouse wishes to retain ownership of a particular asset.

Is it possible to mediate a high asset divorce?

When Kansas spouses decide their marriages are no longer viable, they often choose to go their separate ways. In a high asset divorce, property division issues may be a central focus of settlement negotiations. It is not always the case, however, that such situations must be resolved through litigation; many couples opt for mediation to achieve agreeable terms.

Mediated divorces are often less expensive and less time-consuming than those that are litigated. Spouses considering this path to settlement will want to make sure they can fulfill the requirements. For instance, both spouses must agree to engage in peaceful discussion to resolve disagreements, such as issues regarding marital assets or liabilities, as well as child-related topics, such as custody or financial support.

Robert De Niro, estranged wife fighting over child custody issues

Kansas baby boomers and others who are Hollywood film fans are surely familiar with Robert DeNiro's blockbuster movies of old, such as "Raging Bull," "Taxi Driver" and "The Deer Hunter." De Niro is still making movies, but he has also been making headlines lately for child custody matters involving his 7-year-old daughter. It is not the first time De Niro and his estranged wife, Grace Hightower, have gone to court over custody disputes.

De Niro and Hightower filed for divorce some years ago but ultimately wound up not going through it. In fact, they held a celebration to renew their vows. The couple were the parents of only one child at that time, a son who is now age 20. After reuniting, they also became parents to a daughter born to them through surrogacy.

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.

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