Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Assets and Debts

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LAGERS Pension divided as a future asset

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division, Property-Debt Division
Recent Case:  LAGERS Pension present value of zero but future payment divided Missouri Statutes require division of marital property, including local government retirement system benefits. The Circuit court treated the defined benefit pension as a future asset, requiring the beneficiary to pay the ex-spouse a fixed amount of the future payment, and assigning zero present… Continue Reading

All financial resources can be considered for support, but parent must have some level of control over gifts and inheritances to count as income

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues, Modifications
Courts Bulletin: No financial resource is exempt from the court’s consideration for child support and maintenance calculation purposes. However, financial gifts from a parent or third party and lump-sum inheritances/financial gifts are considered as to the level of control a parent has over said gifts and how they are used. Recent Case No. 102017 (Mo. App.… Continue Reading

Stock Split is Marital Property in Missouri Divorce

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, Property-Debt Division
Recent Case:  Split of Stock awarded to spouse is property of that spouse Wife appeals the judgment of contempt of the Circuit Court of St. Charles County ordering her to transfer 960 shares of stock to Husband. Decision upheld Because the dissolution judgment awarded Husband 96 shares of Wife’s unvested MasterCard stock and the stock… Continue Reading

Guardian Ad Litem recommendation not binding; Custody findings required; Property division must be fair, not necessarily equal

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Family Law, Guardian Ad Litem, Property Division, Property-Debt Division
Recent Ruling:  Court not required to follow Guardian Ad Litem Recommendation, Specific findings under the 8 statutory factors required in Judge tried case Father appeals from the trial court’s dissolution judgment as to child custody and property division in favor of his former spouse, Mother. Father asserts that the trial court erred by: (1) failing… Continue Reading

Property division in Missouri divorce is final and cannot be modified

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property-Debt Division, Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel, Retirement Plans and Division
Recent Case:  Division of Property is final and non-modifiable in divorce proceedings.  Statute enacted after the end of divorce case does not apply retroactively. In a recent case from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Wife appeals the trial court’s determination that her agreement to turn over her survivor interest in her former husband’s (“Father”) pension… Continue Reading

Trial court has the authority to enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) even after the death of the plan participant.

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division, Property-Debt Division, Retirement Plans and Division, Uncategorized
Recent Case:  Missouri Court of Appeals In a 2010 dissolution judgment, Husband and Wife agreed, per a separation agreement, that each would get one-half of Husband’s Anheuser-Busch pension “unless Wife remarries.” In 2011, Husband remarried. He then died in 2012. Subsequent to his death, his ex-wife sought and obtained a QDRO giving her one-half of… Continue Reading

Railroad Retirement benefits are partially marital property subject to division in Missouri divorce

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division, Property-Debt Division, Retirement Plans and Division
Recent case:  Tier II railroad retirement benefits are marital property Husband appeals the circuit Court’s judgment dissolving his marriage to Wife.  Husband contends that, among other things, that the Court misapplied the law in classifying as marital property and awarding almost $20,000 to Wife, which represented Husband’s contribution to his railroad retirement pension during the… Continue Reading

Court must account for all property in Missouri divorce

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division, Property-Debt Division
Recent case:  Party to Missouri divorce cannot appeal until all claims addressed Wife appeals the circuit court’s judgment dissolving her marriage to Husband. Wife contends that the court erred in failing the distribute a marital pension/retirement plan.  The Judgment was silent regarding the retirement plan, and there was no evidence in the record to support… Continue Reading

Unequal Division of Marital Property Appropriate in Some Circumstances

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division, Property-Debt Division, Trials
In a Missouri Divorce, the Court must divide all of the property and debt acquired during the marriage.  The property does not necessarily need to be divided equally, but it must be divided equitably (fairly).  In determining this, the Court must consider all relevant factors, including the economic circumstances of each spouse, the contributions of… Continue Reading

Enforcement of Missouri Divorce Decrees: Contempt of Court Proceedings.

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Property Division
When a Missouri divorce is concluded, and the Judgment Decree is signed by the judge, regardless of whether the case was settled or tried by the court, the parties are expected to follow the order.  While most people do, there are always those who choose to test their luck by not following terms of the… Continue Reading

Valid Prenuptial Agreement must be followed; Non-existent assets can’t be included in marital estate

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Property Division
Recent case: Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED98742 Husband appeals the trial court’s dissolution judgment in various respects relating to the characterization and division of property awarded to his former spouse. DECISION: The trial court cannot include assets or money in the marital estate that no longer exist at the time of trial,… Continue Reading

Trial court must identify all property as marital or non-marital in Missouri divorce proceeding; specific values not required

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings
Recent Ruling: MP v. DLP Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD75647 Husband appeals from the trial court’s judgment and decree of dissolution of marriage with respect to its division of property. Husband claims that the trial court erred in (1) awarding Wife an account as nonmarital property, though not expressly designated by the… Continue Reading

Missouri Divorce FAQ: What is an Uncontested Divorce in Missouri?

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings
An uncontested divorce in Missouri is a divorce where both the Husband and the Wife are in complete agreement with all terms of the divorce before the case is filed.  In almost all cases, if the case can be resolved as an uncontested matter, there will be substantial savings of both time and money, and… Continue Reading

Selling the Marital Home: Missouri divorce decree requiring home to be sold must specifically designate conditions of sale

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division
Recent ruling NC v. CC Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED95337     Husband appeals from the trial court’s Amended Judgment and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage dated June 2, 2010, ordering Husband to pay monthly maintenance to Wife and dividing the parties’ property and debts. Husband challenges the validity of the trial court’s order,… Continue Reading

Court must consider division of marital property before ordering spousal maintenance (alimony); Factors that determine amount of spousal support.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Property Division
In a recent ruling from the Court of Appeals, Husband appealed the trial Court’s decision granting maintenance to the Wife, claiming, among other things, that the Court did not consider the Wife’s award of marital property, and the ability to earn income from it, in its maintenance determination.  The Court of Appeals agreed, remanding the… Continue Reading

Debts ordered to be paid in Divorce Decree are not dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Property Division
Since 2005, the Bankruptcy law has been relatively clear that nearly any obligation resulting from a dissolution of marriage proceeding is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, whether that is in the nature of a domestic support obligation (11 USC 523(a)(5)) or a property/debt settlement (11 USC 523 (a)(15).  The Missouri Court of Appeals has reiterated this… Continue Reading

Setting aside of default judgment appropriate when good cause shown and meritorious defense; Ability to pay supports award of attorney’s fees

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Guardian Ad Litem, Property Division
Recent Case: JT Appellant vs. AT, Respondent  Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED97995 Father appeals from the trial court’s judgment of November 8, 2011, dissolving his marriage with Mother and entering a child custody and support award for their minor child ("Minor"). The trial court’s judgment granted joint physical custody to the parties,… Continue Reading

Parenting Plan must account for all custodial time; Court can determine child’s education when parents are unable to agree; Court has broad discretion in dividing property and division will be upheld unless Court abuses discretion

Posted in Assets and Debts, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division
Recent Case: KO vs. MS Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD74673 Wife appeals the judgment of the trial court entering a dissolution decree. In several points on appeal, she challenges the court’s determinations regarding child custody and property division issues. The Court Held:   (1) Because the parenting plan did not assign all… Continue Reading

Courts Bulletin: Modifiable maintenance granted at divorce is terminated when all of the reasons it was awarded have changed.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
An action to terminate modifiable maintenance was granted. The case is fact-specific, but deserves reporting simply because of the dearth of appellate cases in which modifiable maintenance is terminated. At the time of the parties’ divorce (dates not noted in opinion, but approximately 2003-2004), the Husband ran a business which earned him approximately $190,000 annually.… Continue Reading

Adding Spouse to Legal Title Transmutes Non-Marital Real Property to Marital; Wedding Rings are Separate Non-Marital Property

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Modifications, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Property Division
Recent Case:  JJ v. EJ Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD74148 Adding a spouse to the title of non-marital property, in this case a farm, transmutes separate non-marital property into marital property. Consequently, when Respondent re-titled the property adding his spouse to the title, the farm became marital property. When the parties placed… Continue Reading

Family lawyers and Divorce Attorneys function hand in hand with Forensic Accountants

Posted in Assets and Debts, Discovery, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Property Division
The following post was contributed by guest author Grant Webb, an accounting and accounting law writer for Bisk Education and Villanova University.   Forensic Accountants Fill a Unique Niche Family law and divorce cases are often quite complex. Depending on the number of family members involved, the amount of assets at stake, and the specific… Continue Reading

December Courts Bulletin: Recent updates in Missouri Case Law

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
Value of a closely-held corporation must be as fair market value and application of a calculation of value via a buy-sell agreement not related to fair market value is error. Wood v. Wood, No. 96218 (Mo. App. W.D., November 29, 2011), Romines, J. This was an appeal from a dissolution of marriage action. The Husband… Continue Reading

Courts Bulletin: Recent developments in Missouri Family Law

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Modifications, Paternity, Property Division
  Administrative child support orders are available for the support of all eligible children, including children of citizens of other countries. Lajeunesse v. State of Missouri Department of Social Services, No. 73477 (Mo. App. W.D., October 4, 2011), Martin, J. A child was born to a Russian citizen in West Virginia. Father was a Missouri… Continue Reading

Recent case: Forum under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and in personam jurisdiction

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Property Division
www.courts.mo.gov/file.jspMissouri Constitution provides subject matter jurisdiction of circuit courts. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act provides comity among states and determines which state is the most appropriate forum for seeking remedy. The Circuit court should make findings under those provisions. Rule and statute describe minimum contacts necessary to make a person subject to circuit court… Continue Reading