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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Legal help with a divorce and premarital agreements

Some Missouri residents have significant assets that they would like to protect before they get married. Others seek to handle this after they have gotten married. This is where premarital and postnuptial agreements come in. Understanding how these agreements can affect the case if there is a divorce underway is one of the most contentious and worrisome issues in family law. Having legal assistance for these cases is a must.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract that the couple will agree to and will define how the property division, spousal support and other issues will be addressed should they divorce. Often, these stem from a request made by a person who is wealthy or is simply in a better financial position than the other party. It could also be used when the party has items that are of substantial value like artwork, motor vehicles, real estate and investments. A common problem with a premarital or postnuptial agreement is if property or a business increased in value after the marriage. The party that signed the agreement could be under the impression that he or she is not getting a fair share due to those changes.

What are key points about child custody in a military divorce?

Child custody is a contentious and difficult issue for many Missouri couples who have ended their relationship and parted ways. For those who have one or both former spouses serving in the military, it makes the situation more complicated. To navigate these issues and ensure that the parents get the amount of time they are entitled to with the child and that the child is properly cared for in a stable environment, it is important to understand various points about the entire process.

There are similarities between a civilian divorce and a military divorce and everything that goes along with it. Some are amicable while others are contentious. Even those that have lingering issues between the parents might be able to put their differences aside and come to reasonable agreements for the sake of the child. However, given the nature of the military commitment, many parents are not certain where they will be from one day to the next. With deployments and other factors, this must be assessed in the context of child custody. For example, relocations are a background issue in many civilian divorces. For military parents, having terminology in the agreement to account for the likelihood of relocation is wise.

Communication impairments and Social Security Disability

Missourians who have suffered a brain injury or neurological disorder will often have problems communicating. That inability can have a profound effect on their ability or inability to work and can warrant Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Understanding how the Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates communication impairments is key when it is decided whether the issue meets the criteria for qualifying SSD benefits for an injury.

The SSA will need a description of an evaluation of the communication ability of the person. It must be from a medical source that the SSA deems acceptable and should document the impairment linked to the neurological issue. There might be a communication impairment when there is a dysfunction in the part of the brain that covers language and speech. The impairments will stem from a vascular insult to the brain, cerebral palsy and unintelligible speech post-polio.

What evidence is needed for SSD benefits due to cancer?

Missourians in every family across the state will inevitably have a story about how they have been affected by cancer. It could have afflicted a loved one, a friend or they might have had the disease themselves.

Because certain types of cancer can take such a toll on the body, it might be difficult, if not impossible, for someone who has been diagnosed with certain forms of the disease to work. They might need help making ends meet. This is when they should consider filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for illness. When doing so, however, one of the key factors to getting approved for disability based on cancer is the evidence the Social Security Administration (SSA) needs before coming to a decision.

Your rights to certain types of compensation as an injured worker

Missouri workers who suffer injuries on the job may know of their entitlement to certain types of benefits through a workers' compensation claim, but there may be things about this type of insurance coverage you may not know. If you receive an injury, you would be wise to know more about this process before you move forward with your claim. 

You have the right to protect your interests after an accident in the workplace. You may have a valid claim to workers' compensation benefits, but you may still find it beneficial to have a full understanding of what workers' compensation is, what it means for you and how you can maximize your claim.

What is considered with property division in a Missouri divorce?

Divorce can be a complicated situation for all couples in Missouri. The issues that come up for dispute are many and one that is frequently problematic is how property division and debts will be handled. Understanding how the law deals with property and debts is imperative when the case is moving forward. While it is preferable for the parties to come to an amicable agreement, that is not always possible. So, having a grasp of the law can avoid being a negative outcome.

When coming to a determination with property and debts, the court will set aside the non-marital property and it will go to the party entitled to it. With marital property and debts, there are many factors that the court will consider. The economic situations of the spouses when the property division will go into effect -- including whether one or both want to retain the family home and reside there for the spouse who has custody of children -- will be considered.

Can child support be modified due to National Guard service?

There are many members and former members of the armed forces and National Guard in Missouri. Those who are in the service will face a different set of issues than civilians when it comes to family. If it is a member of the National Guard who is married and has children, there is always a chance that the marriage will not work out and the couple will part ways. Child support and visitation rights will be part of the settlement. However, the amount that will be paid in child support is contingent on many factors including the income of the parents. There can be a modification of the amount that is ordered for many reasons. One is if a parent who is a member of the emergency military service is called to duty and there is a change in income.

When a divorced Missouri parent is an emergency member of the armed forces, there is always a chance that he or she will be called to duty at a moment's notice. When this happens, the income could change. This will be viewed as a substantial change in circumstances and will render unreasonable the original visitation and child support order. For people in this situation, the child support and visitation order can be altered as needed.

What is medical equivalence for Social Security Disability?

When a Missouri resident has an injury, illness or condition that is believed to be severe enough to get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, there are many terms that are used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and could be the foundation for confusion and concern to the applicant. One is meeting the requirements to be considered disabled.

The Listing of Impairments is used to determine whether an applicant meets the requirements for qualifying SSD benefits for injury or illness. However, if the person -- whether an adult or child -- does not meet a specific impairment, it is possible to receive benefits if they meet the medical equivalence. Knowing how the SSA uses medical equivalence is vital to a case. The impairment will be perceived as meeting the criteria, if it is considered equal in the severity and duration of an impairment that is on the Listings.

Get legal help for military divorce and child relocation

Military members and their spouses in Missouri will have a firm grasp on the transient nature of a life spent in the Armed Forces. People can be transferred at a moment's notice and be sent to distant lands.

Given the nature of the military life, divorce issues for service members and their spouses can be more complicated than those for civilians. This is made more difficult when there are children involved. This goes beyond child custody and enters relocation. Knowing how this is handled by the courts and having legal help to get through it is imperative.

How is functional limitation measured with mental illness?

Mental illness is a common problem, even for Missourians. For those whose cases are of sufficient severity to prevent them from working, it is possible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for mental conditions. A key factor in whether an applicant will be approved for SSD benefits is the degree of functional limitation.

This essentially means the limits of how much the person can do while suffering from the mental illness. Knowing how the Social Security Administration assesses these matters is a foundational aspect to a case and getting benefits.

Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

Toll Free: 800-652-5775
Phone: 314-925-0242
Fax: 314-727-5297
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