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Kansas City Family Law Blog

Helpful advice for those going through divorce

Ending a marriage or any long-term relationship can be a tough adjustment, commonly invoking feelings of loneliness and depression. These are feelings that far too many people in Missouri and across the country are very familiar with. No one gets married with the end in mind, but recent statistics say that about half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Here are a few tips that may help those who are going through this transitional period.

Although it can be tough to do, taking care of emotions during this time is critical. One of the best ways to do this is to get active. Daily exercise is a natural mood booster and also helps focus while breaking down stress. Acceptance is also a helpful practice during this time. Don't dwell on the past, accept the uncontrollable and look forward to the future.

Estate planning tips for effective communication

For many families in Missouri, end-of-life situations are not only rarely discussed, but often dreaded. However, death is a guarantee, and having a plan in place for this event is extremely important. One of the biggest obstacles for families to overcome in estate planning is lack of communication. The following tips may help families get the ball rolling and effectively communicate when discussing estate plans.

Beginning these discussions is often the most difficult part. When a meeting is called, family members may sense a change and feel uncomfortable. It is often helpful to collaborate and establish a safe space by implementing ground rules and agreements when meeting. Examples of these rules could include: one person speaking at a time, agreeing to listen respectfully, mutually agreeing to own any outcomes and welcoming questions.

How does your divorce affect your estate plan?

Outdated estate plans can cost a family thousands of dollars and hours of unnecessary headaches to correct mistakes or inaccuracies when a loved one dies. Many of these inaccuracies occur because of a divorce or legal separation before the person can update their will.

Worse, some people take the time to prepare an online form to create a will but fail to have them notarized or witnessed properly. These forms could counter exisiting documents and cause unnecessary confusion with beneficiaries or ex-spouses.

Gray divorce can present unique challenges

In Missouri and across the United States, more and more couples are deciding to separate later in life after decades of marriage. Although overall divorce rates have somewhat leveled off in recent years, the divorce rate among those over 50 years of age has skyrocketed. According to recent statistics, 25 percent of divorces these days involve couples who are 50 years of age or older. This trend has become known as gray divorce.

Finances are a major concern in any divorce but, for late-life divorces, the financial challenges one faces can be unique. It is imperative for both spouses to gain an understanding of all finances. In many marriages, one person is typically responsible for the majority of financial decisions. Those who suddenly find themselves single later in life can be hit with a variety of surprises if they do not familiarize themselves with things like assets and the costs of living.

Tips for navigating the holiday season amid divorce

The end of a marriage is always a difficult and emotional thing to experience. During the holidays, however, divorce can be especially challenging. In Missouri and across America, the holidays are a special time to celebrate with family and friends. It is not uncommon for those who are divorced to feel isolated this time of year. The following tips can be helpful for those going through a divorce during the holiday season.

After a separation, feelings of loneliness are common and the holidays can definitely compound these feelings. However, it can be helpful for those who have gone through a divorce to keep as many traditions and usual routines as possible while also adapting as needed. Do not be afraid of letting a past tradition go if it no longer fits.

Estate planning: When to review and update plans

Most Missouri residents know that death is an important thing to discuss, yet so many families will put it off until it's too late. Discussing death and end-of-life situations is always a tough conversation to have. However, estate planning is very beneficial and can ensure that assets are protected. For those families who already have an estate plan, it is recommended that these be revisited and reviewed from time to time. The following are events that may create a need for families to review and update an estate plan.

Estate plans may need to be revised upon a move to another state. State laws can vary and these variations can affect critical parts of a plan such as powers of attorney and living wills. Documents may also need to be updated when there are new additions to the family such as an adoption or the birth of a grandchild. Adding these new family members to documents by name could avoid potential conflicts down the road.

Keeping the holidays bright after a divorce

Divorce changes many things for a family. This includes how the holidays are celebrated. Parents may worry about how their kids will adjust to such changes and what impacts the divorce will have on the kids’ ability to enjoy the holidays. It is important to remember that just because holidays will be different following a divorce doesn’t mean they still can’t be a great experience for the children. There are steps parents can take towards helping the holidays go well after a divorce. Today, we’ll go over five such steps.

How to avoid these financial mistakes in a divorce

In a divorce, you have to consider many aspects of your life in an entirely new light. You must determine what to do with your marital residence. You must look at your other assets with fresh eyes, deciding which spouse can keep what. And you must consider how your divorce will affect your financial life.

Your divorce will no doubt affect your finances significantly. You must make smart decisions to keep your savings and investments intact. It is important to avoid some of the common financial errors that people make during their divorces.

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