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St. Louis Legal Issues Blog

Temporary orders and authorized motions during a divorce

When a Missouri couple begins divorce proceedings, the immediate aftermath will often elicit questions as to how certain circumstances will be handled. Temporary child support and spousal support is an inevitable concern. Frequently, there is worry that certain behaviors will need to be interrupted via court order. This can encompass many different things. Some place people at risk. For those who are divorcing, understanding how the law addresses temporary orders and authorized motions is a key part of a case.

When there is a divorce underway, either spouse can request temporary support. With this motion, there will be an affidavit with the factual basis for this request and the amounts the person wants. If there was a divorce completed by a court that did not have personal jurisdiction over an absent spouse, either party can ask for maintenance and support. This too will have an affidavit. As part of this motion, either spouse can also ask that the court issue an order for numerous behaviors.

What should I know about the duration requirement for SSD?

When a Missourian is suffering from an illness or condition and is seeking Social Security disability benefits, it is important to understand more than just the basics about the federal regulations and how to be approved. The duration requirement is one of the key factors in the application process. Understanding how the Social Security Administration assesses a person's medical conditions and determines if it will last or is expected to last the required 12 months is a critical part of the claim.

The applicant's medically determinable impairment must last for 12 consecutive months or will be expected to end in the person's death. The condition at the time might not have been ongoing for those 12 months when the SSA decides the person is disabled. This will be met when there is an expectation of recovery following the 12 month period making the person eligible to get benefits. The impairment must prevent the person from working in substantial gainful activity for 12 consecutive months.

Do I need education or alternate dispute resolution in a divorce?

Missourians who have decided to divorce will undoubtedly understand that there are many issues that must be navigated. However, the law has certain requirements that people might not be aware of, but are important nonetheless. In some cases, the court will make it mandatory that there be educational sessions or alternative dispute resolution meetings. If this is the situation, the parties should know when it could be ordered and how it works.

When there is a divorce filing or a legal separation and children are involved with their custody and visitation rights in the balance, the court will have the parties take part in educational sessions. When there is a motion to modify any of these orders and the parties have taken part in educational sessions in the past, it might be ordered again. If the case is related to custody and visitation, the court might order that the parties take part in alternative dispute resolution. This can be avoided if there is good cause shown. Good cause can be if there is an uncontested or temporary case with custody or physical custody, or if there was a finding of domestic violence or abuse.

Orthotic and prosthetic devices and Social Security disability

When a Missourian has a musculoskeletal issue that impairs them, Social Security disability benefits are an option if the injury leads to an inability to work. When seeking SSD benefits for injury, people who use orthotic devices or prosthetic devices will find that these devices are important when it is determined whether the benefits' requirements are met. Understanding the criteria for this situation is key as any problem could lead to a denial. Of course, having legal assistance is crucial for any disability case.

If the person has an orthotic device, the medical examination that will be used for the disability application should be conducted with the device in place with the testing procedures evaluating the person's capabilities while using it. When a person has difficulty with the device in place or cannot use it, the medical professional should document the medical reasons for it. When the person's impairment is on the lower extremities, information about the person's ability to ambulate in an effective manner without the device should be part of the report unless is contrasts with the medical judgment of the person conducting the examination.

What should happen after a workplace accident?

A workplace accident can leave you with significant injuries and bills that you may not be able to pay by yourself. Missouri workers may know that they could have a rightful claim to benefits after an accident, but most are unfamiliar with the process or what they should do next. If you were hurt in an accident, it can be helpful to understand what to expect from the workers' compensation process.

After an accident in the workplace, there are things that both the employer and the employee need to do. When you understand the requirements of both parties and what to expect, you can better protect your interests. When it comes to your needs after a work accident, it is beneficial to know what to do to get the full and fair recovery you deserve.

Social Security disability for mental illness requires legal help

The most basic aspects of a Social Security disability case can be the most complex for a Missourian who is suffering from mental illness. Simply having the condition and showing evidence of it is often not enough. With mental illness or any other condition that falls into that category, the case will hinge on following the rules dictated by the Social Security Administration and applying as required. Knowing the steps to take and understanding eligibility is one of the most important hurdles at the start.

To avoid a claim being denied, it is wise to have all the pieces in place when applying. That includes knowing exactly what the condition is; why the SSA might deny a claim; having the proper documentation to prove that the benefits are needed; knowing the time-frame of the case; and making the correct filings, hearing requests and appeals. Many applicants might not realize that a substantial number of cases are denied at one point or another. Those who were getting benefits could see those benefits stop after a redetermination. Some people might try to work and fail and find their benefits stopped because of that without understanding that trying to work is allowable when getting SSD.

Divorce issues affect older people in different ways

A growing trend in the U.S. is the number of people who are considered older and are deciding to get a divorce. Missourians who are in this situation should think about the various issues that accompany a so-called "gray divorce." Problems that people 50 and older who decide to get divorced can differ from those experienced by younger people. Since the 1990s, the number of people 50 and older who have divorced has doubled. One obvious reason that there has been a rise in these divorces is the increase in lifespans. However, there are other considerations that should be assessed when thinking about a divorce at a later age and having legal help is crucial.

When people live longer, they might begin to think about changes in their life before it is too late. An unhappy marriage could be viewed as something that no longer must be endured for ancillary reasons. For those 50 and above, the prospect of living another three decades unhappily is not enjoyable. The social acceptance of divorce can free those who would otherwise be reluctant to move on. Financial stability contributes to the willingness to part ways.

How is child support enforced and who can receive state help?

Missourians who are supposed to receive child support should get it in full and on time. However, there are times when they do not get the payments as they are supposed to and it is necessary to seek help from the Family Support Division. When seeking that help, it is first important to know who is eligible for child support services. Then, it is beneficial to understand what steps FSD can take when child support is not being paid and no other attempts to receive the payments have been successful. Knowing this information is key before taking the next step.

The FSD will provide child support services to a variety of people and it is not limited to the custodial and noncustodial parents. Should there be others who are involved in child support in addition to the custodial parent with whom the child is living or the noncustodial parent with whom the child is not living, the FSD can help them. That includes custodians who are relatives or non-relatives if the non-relative has been given legal custody or guardianship; adult children who are age 18 to 21; men who might be the biological father if the paternity is not officially known; and the child's legal representative if the custodial parent has died.

Are you at risk for a work-related illness?

You may know that you have a right to seek workers' compensation benefits after a work accident, but you may not know you have this same right if you are sick because of your work. Sick workers are entitled to financial benefits if toxic exposure or the environment of their job led to illness. If you are sick because of your job, you have options. 

There are various factors that can lead to the development of an occupational illness. In fact, Missouri workers in all types of jobs and industries could face a risk for a work-related sickness. Many ill workers who need support find it practical to seek help as they walk though the insurance claims process.

Man with serious back injury repeatedly denied for SSD benefits

Missourians who are seeking disability benefits for injury should, of course, focus on properly filling out the application and doing what is necessary to meet the federal requirements for an approval. It is also wise for those who are applying or have already been approved or denied for benefits to pay attention to stories of others who have sought SSD benefits and had issues with their case. This applies not just to Missouri but to states across the nation.

A Utah man who has sought SSD benefits because of a back injury and has been repeatedly denied went to the local media for assistance. According to him, he would like to get back to work but has been informed by his doctors that he is unable to. At one point, the state itself determined that he could not work. For 17 years, he has had the back issues and needed surgery. After the problems started, they gradually worsened to the point where he could not stand for more than 15 minutes at most. He had worked as a welder, but the back problems made it necessary for him to quit.

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

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Phone: 314-925-0242
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