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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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

Characterization of Property in Divorce – Increases in Value of Non-Marital Assets only Marital to Extent of Marital Contributions

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
Under Missouri Law, certain property is considered to be non-marital, and not part of the division of the marital estate in a divorce proceeding.  Non-marital property includes property: Acquired before the marriage; Acquired by gift or inheritance; Acquired in exchange for property acquired by 1 and 2 above; Acquired after a decree of legal separation;… Continue Reading

Property Not Owned by Spouses Cannot Be Divided in Divorce

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division
The Circuit Court does not have authority to divide assets that are not owned by either spouse in a dissolution of marriage.  In a recent Missouri case, the trial court entered a judgment that divided certain trusts where the children were the sole beneficiaries.  Since the parties to the case did not have any interest… Continue Reading

When Attorney Fees Can Be Awarded in Divorce/Family Litigation

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Custody and Visitation, Discovery, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity, Trials
While Missouri courts normally follow the “American Rule” regarding legal fees – that each party is responsible for his or her own costs – Missouri dissolution of Marriage statutes give the court the discretion to order one party to contribute to the other party’s fees. Specifically, Section 452.355.1 provides:   Unless otherwise indicated, the court from… Continue Reading

Missouri no fault divorce – what it does and does not mean

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division, Trials
Similar to other states, Missouri is a modified no-fault divorce state. However, there is some misconception out there about what this actually means for divorcing parties in Missouri. Modified no-fault divorce means that a party does not have to prove that their spouse committed some kind of misconduct, such as adultery, abandonment, financial, etc., in order for… Continue Reading

Grossly disproportionate division of property and debts in a divorce proceeding reversed

Posted in Assets and Debts, Custody and Visitation, Discovery, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division, Trials
In a recent ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District, a division of property and debt where the Wife received 93% of the assets and 27% of the debts, and the Husband received 7% of the assets and 73% of the debt was reversed and remanded to the trial court for… Continue Reading

Missouri Supreme Court Decision: Spouse’s Contribution to Separate Property Creates Marital Interest In Property Which May Be Divided by Trial Court

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Property Division
In a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Missouri, the Court held that a spouses contribution to otherwise separate property creates a marital interest that can be divided by the Court.  In Missouri, property that was owned prior to the marriage is generally considered to be separate, non-marital property.  Separate property is awarded to the… Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Filings Up Substantially in 2009

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
As a practicing family and bankruptcy attorney, I consistently run into cases where people are dealing with both a divorce (or other family law related matter), as well as a bankruptcy.  This is because, many times, one is the cause of the other (this works both ways), and the cases often go hand in hand. That is probably no surprise… Continue Reading

The Financial Aspects of Divorce: Why It usually IS “All About The Money”

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Abuse, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division
I can’t think of how many times that I have had a client tell me, regardless of what the issue is that is in dispute, that the opposing party is “just worried about money” or that it is “all about the money” for him or her, and that is their sole motivation in the case. Or maybe… Continue Reading

Recent Ruling: Property Division Accounts for Squandering

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce
In a recent ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals, the court upheld a trial court ruling where marital assets were divided unequally between the spouses, the division included money spent by a spouse after separation, and spousal maintenance was awarded even though the spouse receiving the maintenance also received the larger portion of the… Continue Reading

Division of Personal Injury Settlements in Missouri Divorce

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division
In a divorce proceeding, a personal injury settlement can be a major asset that will have to be divided between the parties. Missouri uses the "analytical" approach to determine whether the settlement proceeds are marital, non-marital, or both. In a marriage dissolution proceeding, the trial court uses a two-step process for dividing property. The trial… Continue Reading

Tenancy by the Entireties exemption for Married Couples Holds – Case Law Update

Posted in Assets and Debts, Financial Issues, Marriage and Family
The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District of Missouri has just recently upheld the Missouri exemption (protection from creditors) for Tenancy by the Entirety for jointly owned property by married couples. Tenancy by the Entireties is a special form of property ownership that Missouri, and some other states, reserved for married couples only. Tenancy… Continue Reading

Domestic Support Obligations and Bankruptcy

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Modifications, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division
With so many people facing bankruptcy in the current climate, it may be good news to know (depending on which side you are on, of course) that the bankruptcy does not allow a person owing a domestic support obligation to use bankruptcy as a way to avoid payment of the debt. In fact, virtually any obligation… Continue Reading

Divorce and Bankruptcy: When families are facing both, which should come first?

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues
In this time of economic downturn, I am seeing quite a few people filing for divorce who have substantial debt problems, and many are considering, or needing, to file for bankruptcy. This is especially true considering that a large number of those considering divorce are doing so because of financial struggles. In this event, careful planning is… Continue Reading

How To Prevent Divorce From Hurting Your Credit

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property Division
The following post recently appeared in the New York Divorce Report.  This article addresses one of the most important issues in a divorce, the division of marital debts.  If parties have joint debt, whether it is a credit card, loan, auto loan, mortgage, or other debt, a divorce decree cannot change the relationship between the… Continue Reading

Award’s of Attorney’s Fees in Divorce and Imputation of Income for Child Support – Recent Case

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues
Discussed below is a recent ruling from the Western District of Missouri, where the Court, among other things, upheld the trial Court’s ruling of imputation of income for child support and the award of attorney’s fees.  For calculation of child support, a trial court may impute income to a party according to what that party could… Continue Reading

How Will Divorce Affect My Credit:

Posted in Assets and Debts, Property Division
The following article was recently published by Jimmy Atkinson on his blog Ask the Advisor.  This article addresses a very important issue in a dissolution of marriage proceeding, the division of debt.  If not done properly or completely, outstanding debts can cause disasterous consequences to a sometimes innocent party.  The fact is, a Court can… Continue Reading

This Week in Missouri Family law

Posted in Assets and Debts, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division, Trials
Pension Was Marital And Non-Marital Property Pension is a hybrid of marital and non-marital property; the former to the extent that it represents deferred payment of wages earned during the marriage, and the latter to the extent that it represents compensation for future wages lost due to disability. Remanded to Circuit Court to reconsider property… Continue Reading

This Week in Missouri Family Law

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Property Division
Conduct During Marriage Influences Judgment Wife’s inability to support herself due to health problems and lack of skills supports award of maintenance. Evidence of Wife’s resources, from later hearing on attorney fees, is no basis for reversing Circuit Court’s award of maintenance. Husband’s use of resources, including extramarital affair, supports division of property and allocation… Continue Reading

Attorney’s Fees as tax deductions

Posted in Assets and Debts, Financial Issues, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized
The Kansas Family Law Blog had a great posting recently about the deductibility of attorney’s fees, which I have set forth below.  For more information on this issue, see the tax archives of this blog It’s that time of year again. Of course, the general rule is that lawyers’ fees and costs in connection with obtaining… Continue Reading

Selling Your Home When Divorcing

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Financial Issues, Marriage and Family, Property Division, Uncategorized
The following are some infomative and useful tips on the sale of a residence in divorce from divorcehq.com For many people going through a divorce their biggest asset is their home or in legal speak, the marital residence. Deciding what to do about the marital residence is often a major issue in a divorce. There are a few… Continue Reading

What You Can (and Can’t) Do With a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted in Assets and Debts
Understand what you can accomplish by making a prenuptial contract before you marry. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to make a prenuptial agreement, you’ll need to understand what this type of contract can — and can’t — do for you. What You Can Do With a Prenup Prenuptial agreements are most often… Continue Reading

The New Bankruptcy Law

Posted in Assets and Debts
The hards facts just don’t lie. Divorce and bankruptcy sometimes go together. In an effort to help you understand what the changes in the new law will mean to those facing bankruptcy after October 17th, I have provided an article from Nolo. Here are some of the major changes you should know about. Now that… Continue Reading