When you’re facing a legal change to your family situation, you want counsel with the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process and help bring about a favorable resolution. At Anderson & Gilbert, L.C., we have been serving clients in the greater St. Louis Area for over a century, providing representation and guidance on domestic matters in negotiation and litigation. We can help you protect your assets and tackle other issues such as alimony, child support and child custody.
Prenuptial agreements are contracts between spouses setting out their rights in case of divorce. Missouri has not adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, so the restrictions on prenuptial agreements are based in Missouri law, making it essential to have your agreement drafted by a knowledgeable attorney. Any prenuptial agreements must be fair and reasonable, and must represent a complete disclosure of all relevant facts. Generally, courts will honor such agreements as they affect property, but when it comes to child custody or child support, prenups take second place to the child’s welfare. A postnuptial agreement is a similar contract created after the marriage. It is often initiated when there’s been a major change to one spouse’s assets, or sometimes as an alternative to divorce. Both prenups and postnups require the advice and draftsmanship of a skilled attorney to ensure they are enforceable.
Divorce in Missouri is called dissolution of marriage. The state allows for a no-fault mutual divorce. However, if one party contests, a divorce may be granted on grounds of irreconcilable differences, adultery of the nonsuing spouse, abandonment of the suing spouse for a period of at least six continuous months or separation of the spouses by mutual agreement for the preceding 12 months or any continuous period of 24 months. Spouses may receive alimony only if the court finds that they lack sufficient property to support themselves. Our attorneys are adept at handling all facets of a divorce case, including the distribution of marital property and the determination of spousal support.
In determining child custody, Missouri considers the best interests of the child as the primary factor. Agreements between the parents and their wishes are considered but are not binding on the court’s decision. Courts will try to provide for a relationship with both parents, weighing which parent is more likely to allow contact with the other in determining custody.
Child support can be allotted to the custodial parent and considers the resources and needs of the parents and child, including childcare and physical and emotional health. In Missouri, only the court’s decision is binding. Agreements between the parents or even agreements made in mediation are not legally binding, and only a judge can alter a custody or child support order. Because of this, even in cases of amicable divorce you need a skilled advocate to represent you and your child’s best interest in court.
At Anderson & Gilbert, L.C., we provide personal attention and unmatched experience, bringing the resources of a long-established St. Louis law firm to help you resolve your legal issues. Call us at 314-896-1903 or contact us online for a free consultation today.