Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Divorce

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New Missouri Child Support Guidelines in Effect as of July 1, 2017

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues
Effective July 1, 2017, Missouri’s New Form 14 and new Child Support Guidelines took effect.  Notable changes to the previous law include: Changes to the presumed amounts in the chart, especially at the lower and higher income levels Changed schedule for calculating the overnight credit New directions and comments for use, and new instructions for… Continue Reading

Modification of Another State’s Custody Order Depends on The Other State Releasing Jurisdiction

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Family Law, Modifications
Recent Case from the Court of Appeals:  States have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over their custody judgments until released by the rendering state. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act conditions authority of any State to modify another State’s custody order on whether the residences of parties or child remain in the other State, as… Continue Reading

Modification of spousal support order requires substantial and continuing change in circumstances

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Property-Debt Division
Recent Case:  From the Missouri Court of Appeals, Modification of Spousal Support vs. Property Division Appellant Husband appeals the trial court’s judgment reducing, but not terminating, his maintenance obligation, retroactive to February 2015, and awarding Wife attorney’s fees. Missouri statutes allow modification of spousal maintenance when circumstances change, the change is substantial and continuing, and… Continue Reading

New Missouri Child Support Guidelines and Amounts to take effect July 1, 2017

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues
From the Supreme Court of Missouri: “It is ordered that effective July 1, 2017, Civil Procedure Form No. 14, entitled “Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet”, along with the directions, comments for use, and examples for completion thereto, by and the same are hereby repealed and a new Civil Procedure Form No. 14 entitled “Child Support… Continue Reading

Failure to include holiday or vacation schedule in parenting plan is trial court error; Voluntary reduction in Income does not support reduction in child support

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues, Modifications
Recent Case from the Missouri Court of Appeals:  Parenting plans must contain holiday and vacation schedules; voluntary reduction in income does not support child support reduction Mother appeals the trial court’s judgment of modification for a failure to properly apply the law and abusing its discretion in its judgment of modification. Mother contends, in relevant… Continue Reading

New Missouri custody law seeks to maximize time with each parent, takes effect August 28

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
Governor Jay Nixon signed House bill 1550 into law on July 1, 2016, which takes effect August 28, 2016.  This law has been dubbed as an equal custody law, or 50/50 custody law, but that is not an entirely accurate description.  Rather than specifically stating that custody should be equal, the bill’s wording is to… Continue Reading

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

Modification of Maintenance appropriate on Voluntary Retirement and Increase in Resources of Obligee; No entitlement to attorney fees just because of lesser income.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues, Modifications
Recent Case:  Wife appeals Judgment of the Circuit Court modifying her spousal maintenance award and denial of attorney fees Statutes base maintenance on, and limit it to, need, and allow modification when a substantial and continuing change in circumstances make the initial award unfair.  Such change may include involuntary retirement, on which the record supports… Continue Reading

Spousal Support (Maintenance) Denied in Missouri Divorce

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues, Getting a Divorce, Property-Debt Division
Recent Case: Missouri Court of Appeals upholds Judgment denying spousal support when sufficient property is awarded Wife appeals from the trial court’s judgment that dissolved her marriage with Husband, divided marital property and marital debt, and denied her an award of maintenance. Wife challenges only the trial court’s denial of an award of maintenance. Judgment… Continue Reading

Child’s refusal to visit other parent no excuse to violate custody order; Parent held in Contempt

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Family Law, Legal Proceedings
Recent Missouri Case:     Parent responsible for violating the court order when child refuses to visit the other parent as required in the court ordered parenting plan Appellant D.R.P. (“Mother”) appeals the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jackson County holding her in civil contempt of the court’s judgment regarding the parenting plan for M.P.P. (“Father”)… 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

Domestic Partnership does not constitute marriage for termination of spousal support (aka alimony)

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Divorce, Financial Issues, Marriage, Modifications, Trials
Recent case: Missouri law states that remarriage terminates spousal support unless expressly agreed or ordered otherwise. Domestic partnership does not qualify for this purpose. Ex-Husband appeals the circuit court’s judgment denying his motion to terminate or modify maintenance. First, movant argues that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to terminate maintenance because his… Continue Reading

No spousal support (alimony) award that leaves paying spouse negative income

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Divorce, Uncategorized
Recent Case: Trial Court error in awarding Wife spousal support amount that left Husband with negative budget, Court must also consider Wife’s ability to contribute Husband appeals from the trial Court’s judgment awarding $1,000 in monthly maintenance to his former spouse.  Husband asserts that the trial court abused its discretion in that the award exceeds… Continue Reading

Employer required to garnish child support

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Financial Issues
Recent case: Employer is required by law to comply with child support wage garnishment orders from the Family Support Division The employer of a father ordered to pay child support appeals the trial court’s judgments in favor of the Department of Social Services Family Support Division after the employer failed to comply with income withholding… Continue Reading

Parenting plan must have written time schedule and address holidays

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Getting a Divorce, Legal Separation
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… 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

60 day Notice required for relocation, not Motion to Modify

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
Case Law Update:  Motion to Modify is not required to relocate, but 60 day notice must be given to the non-moving parent, who then may file an objection. Under Missouri law the address designated as the minor child’s primary residence for educational and mailing purposes is considered a sub-issue of custody. A change to the… 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

Child Support terminated and child emancipated if requirements for college are not met; child must report grades and course load to parents.

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Financial Issues, Uncategorized
Case Law Update on the issue of emancipation of a child and termination of child support obligation for a child in college when course load requirement is not met. Filed March 4 – Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED99492 Father appeals the trial court’s judgment in favor of Mother, on his motion to… Continue Reading