Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Child Custody and Visitation

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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

Restrictions on visitation, and subsequent removal of them, both require a ruling on child’s best interest

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Custody and Visitation, Family Law, Financial Issues, Modifications
Recent Case:  When a custody order contains restricted visitation, those restrictions must not be lifted, or even phased out, until a subsequent hearing to determine whether removal of the restrictions is in the child’s best interest. Evidence that Father has not sought employment within his expertise supported an imputation of income for determining child support. … 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

Marijuana use not grounds for termination of parental rights

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Custody and Visitation, Family Law, Guardian Ad Litem, Parenting and Adoption, Trials
Recent Case: Marijuana use under the level of chemical dependency not grounds for termination of parental rights Father appeals from the judgment terminating his parental rights. Grounds for termination of parental rights require clear and convincing evidence, so Court of Appeals examines evidence contrary to judgment.  Grounds include abuse or neglect and failure to rectify. … 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

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

Relocation approved, custody changed from joint custody to sole custody

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Modifications
Recent case:  Relocation must be in good faith and in children’s best interests; sole custody award appropriate when parents cannot jointly make decisions. In a recent case from the Missouri Supreme Court, a mother sought to modify a judgment dissolving her marriage that had granted the parents joint legal and joint physical custody of their… 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

Inability to co-parent grounds for sole custody award; Guardian Ad Litem fees assessed to one party appropriate

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Family Law, Financial Issues, Guardian Ad Litem, Modifications
Recent Case:       Parents’ inability to communicate, cooperate, and make shared decisions concerning their children’s welfare makes joint legal custody inappropriate. This case involved a motion to change custody from Mother to Father.  The Court ultimately awarded Father sole legal and sole physical custody of the children, subject to periods of visitation to Mother. The trial… Continue Reading

Every child is entitled to a permanent and stable home

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Custody and Visitation, Domestic Abuse
Recent case: Termination of parental rights for failure to rectify When children are taken into protective care by the children’s division, the goal is to reunite the children and the parent(s).  However, parental rights can ultimately be terminated because of a failure of the parents to remedy the cause(s) of the children to be taken… 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

Child Custody and Religion

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation
When parents of different faiths separate, how do courts decide whose religion the children will follow? When parents of different faiths separate, they don’t always agree on whose religion the children will follow. With increasing numbers of interfaith marriages and high divorce rates, this topic has recently been argued in courtrooms across the country. The… Continue Reading

Types of Custody

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation
Learn the difference between legal custody, physical custody, sole custody, and joint custody. Legal Custody Legal custody of a child means having the right and the obligation to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. A parent with legal custody can make decisions about schooling, religion, and medical care, for example. In many states, courts regularly… Continue Reading

Parenting Agreements

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation
Practical steps to help you create a workable parenting plan with your child’s other parent. If you are divorcing and you have kids, the most important task ahead of you is to make an agreement with your spouse about custody and visitation. No matter how angry you may be or how difficult your communication with… Continue Reading

Grandparent and Caretaker Visitation Rights

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation
Learn how child visitation laws affect grandparents’, stepparents’, and caretakers’ visitation rights. Grandparents, stepparents, and other caretakers often form deep and loving attachments with the children in their lives. Yet when death, divorce, or estrangement tears families apart, these caretakers may find themselves without any legal right to maintain contact with the children they love.… Continue Reading

Paternity Suit

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation
A lawsuit to determine the identity of the father of a child born outside of marriage, and to provide for the support of the child once the identity of the father has been determined. Copyright © 2005 Nolo… Continue Reading

Temporary Orders in Family Court

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation
What kind of temporary orders you can get in family court, and how. Typical lawsuits take months, if not years, to make it to court. But if you’re getting divorced and need a quick decision from a judge about who gets the kids, the car, the money in the bank accounts, or the house —… Continue Reading