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Gulfport Family Law Blog

Don't rely on informal child custody arrangements

If you and your former or soon-to-be-former spouse have a good relationship, you may consider a handshake agreement when it comes to child custody. You probably think that you can both just "work it out." And that may be true. However, even the best relationships have bumpy times, and over the course of years, parts of the agreement can be remembered incorrectly.

A long-term arrangement like child custody is best done in a formal manner, on paper, with a judge's signature. This way, in the event of a breakdown in communication, you will have the agreement to rely upon and revisit to clarify any disagreement. Moreover, even with a formal custody agreement in place the parties can agree upon an occasional exception.

Waveland is the divorce capital of Mississippi

Almost half of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce. Folks in Mississippi enjoy a divorce rate that's slightly lower than the national average: between three and four of every 10 married couples in the Magnolia State divorce. According to USA Today, however, one neighbor of Gulfport has a divorce rate that's almost double that of the rest of the state: Waveland.

Across Mississippi, just under 12 percent of the total population is composed of divorced individuals. In Waveland, however, one out of every five adults in the city is divorced. Financial concerns often play a part in divorce, and statistics show that a there are a high number of low-income households in the Waveland area. On the other hand, it's possible that the low income level is a result of divorce - separate single-income households instead of combined, double income households - rather than a cause of it.

Extraordinary medical expenses and child support in Mississippi

When you factor in all of the expenses, such as food, clothing, education, entertainment and health care, it can be expensive to raise a child these days. This is why so much care is made in computing the child support obligations due between divorced and separated parents. The cost of health care can be ameliorated if the child has health insurance. Even then, though, there are often out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance. These can include co-payments, deductibles, prescriptions and more.

In the context of computing child support, these are called extraordinary medical expenses. How does a child support plan deal with these expenses? For starters, Mississippi courts are allowed to deviate from the child support guidelines to account for extraordinary medical expenses. This means that the non-custodial parent may be asked to pay more than they otherwise would have factoring in all expenses and the income of each parent.

The benefits and drawbacks of prenuptial agreements

For many folks in Mississippi, prenuptial agreements bring to mind movie stars and other rich people. Many normal, everyday people have prenuptial agreements with their spouses, however. Although they are not necessarily for everyone, many people may find that a prenuptial agreement is suitable for their situation. It all depends on your specific circumstances and values.

What are the possible benefits of a prenuptial agreement? If one or both spouses are bringing significant assets to a marriage, a prenuptial agreement can document this. This property may be considered to be separate property in a subsequent divorce, and separate property is often not subject to property division.

Can a military divorce be filed during a deployment?

Although it may sometimes seem that a person's life is on hold during a military deployment, the fact is that life goes on for Gulfport military families. This means that divorce may crop up as an issue for service members and their spouses. Can a service member file a divorce petition while they are on active duty? Can their non-service member spouse? This blog post will address these questions briefly.

The legal aspects of service members' lives are governed in part by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This federal law also controls how states can regulate the lives of service members and their families. The act provides that U.S. service members cannot begin divorce proceedings while on active duty and that they cannot have divorce proceedings filed against them while on active duty. Furthermore, the act gives courts discretion to extend the prohibition to 60 days following active duty.

Child custody dispute may be headed to court for Nas and Kelis

Sometimes a child custody dispute can be handled simply and amicably between two Mississippi parents. Other times, however, child custody disputes can drag on for years. The example of one musical ex-couple shows how a child custody dispute can sometimes go on and on and on.

Rapper Nas and singer Kelis divorced in 2010. Last month, Nas sought a court order establishing a custodial plan for their 8-year-old son. According to papers filed with the court, Nas said he had tried to resolve the matter with his ex-wife but she had not responded to his attempts to create an appropriate custodial plan for their son. Nas proposed a custody plan where he would have parenting time on the first, third and fifth weekends of every month.

Helping you obtain a favorable outcome during divorce

As we enter a new year, we also enter the month with the highest rate of divorce filings. Because spouses seek to enjoy one last holiday season and avoid breaking the holiday spirits of loved ones by sharing the news that their marriage is over, married couples in Mississippi and elsewhere file for divorce once the new year rolls around. While this is a frequent time to file for dissolution during this month, it certainly is never an easy decision to make no matter what month it is.

Filing for divorce means making difficult, serious, life-altering decisions. It also means understanding what you want to walk away from the marriage with and how you want to reach a final order. At Maggio Law Firm, P.C., our skilled attorneys have dealt with a wide variety of legal divorce issues. Thus, we are ready and prepared to help those in the Gulfport area navigate the divorce process.

Issues present in a child support dispute

Leading up, during and following the divorce process, spouses can experience a multitude of disputes and legal issues. This is true if children are involved in the process. Parents are not only fighting over who gets the children when but also the financial support that might go hand-in-hand with the child custody order. Child support can be a hot topic for parents to work through, especially when they do not believe they should pay any support.

While many New York parents are faced with child support disputes, what many parents do is obtain legal help throughout this process. This provides a more accurate perspective while also helping him or her understand their rights. This could mean taking action during or after the divorce process. While establishing a support agreement during dissolution is vital, it is likely that these issues will be revisited following divorce as the needs of the child often alter and the ability for parents to pay may be strained.

Helping our clients through a divorce

For many married couples in Mississippi and elsewhere, the holiday season is not easy. If there is high conflict in a marriage, it might have been difficult to remain strong through all the family celebrations. However, many married couples allow for one last time for family togetherness, especially if children are involved, before they file for divorce.

January is known for its high rate of divorce because many spouses seek to post-pone the inevitable just a bit longer for the holidays. Now that January is around the corner, many married couples will now take the time to file for divorce. At Maggio Law Firm, P.C., our experienced legal team is aware of this influx in divorce filings. But, we are prepared to help our clients in the Gulfport area file for divorce not matter what month it is.

Emotions and the holiday season for parents after a divorce

Gulfport parents who are divorced or separated probably already know how awkward the holidays can potentially be. Planning holiday celebrations around child custody arrangements can sometimes be a challenge. Yet very often, parents succeed in making the situation work and making happy memories for grownups and children alike.

There are some steps newly divorced parents can take to hopefully make the holidays a positive and meaningful experience. Parents need to prepare themselves for the new reality: Their children may be gone for part of the holidays. Not only can this be emotional for the parents, it can be emotional for the children too. It is important to acknowledge their emotions and prepare them for the new arrangement.