Amidst shifting patterns in the city’s demographics, St. Louis, along with the rest of Missouri, bears witness to a marked increase in divorce rates over the past decade. In Missouri, divorce rates have spiked recently after a relative decline from 1990 to 2015, a pattern which is consistent with the United States’ rise in divorce rates nationally. The rise in dissolving marriages leave the city of St. Louis to grapple with the implications of divorce for communities, educational institutions, and families.
Cost breakdown of divorce in Missouri
As in the rest of the country, a contested divorce is the most expensive form of divorce in St. Louis, with attorney costs ranging from $500 to $25,000 as a retainer fee. Uncontested divorce, on the other hand, averages at a flat rate of $500, although that number might be higher for people with children. Apart from attorney fees, related costs of divorce include a custody evaluation to determine parents’ custodial rights and financial arrangements to dissolve joined finances.
The cost of divorce also varies significantly between couples of different age sects. Ordinarily, couples in the age range of 45-55 are most likely to seek divorce; however, recent demographic research suggests a rise in the rates of gray divorce or divorce for couples over 55. Gray divorces, along with the trauma of dissolving a lifetime marriage, tend to accrue higher costs, since couples are left with the question of how to negotiate their finances as they approach retirement.
Local resources for children and families
Fortunately, an array of resources exist in St Louis to help children and families cope with the aftermath of divorce. For instance, Kids in the Middle is a charity based in St Louis that offers counseling programs for children with separated families. The St Louis County Education Program offers training sessions designed for separated parents to learn parenting skills to aid their child through the transition amicably.
Divorce is devastating for couples and children alike; however, proper financial planning and emotional support can help alleviate some of the stress related to the transition period. In St. Louis, the rise in divorce rates has been met with an influx of charity-based resources for families affected by parental separation. Cumulatively, these efforts will prepare the city to meet with the changing demands of divorce and mitigate conflict within families.