Recent Case:  Missouri parenting plans must have specific, written parenting time schedule and must address holidays.

Mother appeals from a judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Atchison County dissolving her marriage to Father. Mother challenges the trial court’s designation of Father’s home as the child’s residence for school and mailing purposes and its division of parenting time in its parenting plan.  The case was affirmed in part, reversed in part.

The trial Court found that the evidence at trial supported the Court’s findings regarding custody and parenting time.  However, Missouri statute requires that a parenting plan have a specific written parenting time schedule that addresses various holidays and other specified occasions. The trial court is not free to disregard any of the enumerated events. The parenting plan failed to address Presidents’ Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, both of which are school holidays specifically referenced in the Parenting Plan Guidelines issued by the Missouri Supreme Court, and may have failed to address other school holidays not specifically identified in Mother’s brief. The failure to account for such holidays in the parenting plan constitutes reversible error, requiring remand to permit the trial court to modify the parenting plan accordingly.

Missouri Court of Appeals

WD77280

January 13, 2015