Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Family Law

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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

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

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

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

Form 14 Mandatory for Determination of Child Support

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Financial Issues
Recent Case Holding: The trial Court is required to calculate the presumed amount of child support pursuant to Civil Procedure Form 14. In a recent case from the Missouri Court of Appeals – Eastern District, Husband appeals from the trial Court’s Judgment Decree of Dissolution of Marriage awarding his former wife maintenance, child support, and… Continue Reading

Temporary breaks in post-secondary vocational education do not violate the continuous enrollment requirement of Missouri’s post-secondary education child support law.

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Divorce, Family Law, Paternity
Child support in Missouri can continue after the child turns 18, and until 21, if the child is attending a post high school education program, provided that several requirements are met.  (See RSMo section 452.340.5 below in the extended post).   One such requirement is that the child be continuously enrolled in the education program. A recent ruling from… Continue Reading

Missouri Case Law Development: Child’s Conduct Is Not Relevant To Child Support Award

Posted in Family Law, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized
Trial Court erred in failing to follow two-step procedure for determining Child support. Child’s SSI from Father’s disability does not constitute income to Father or credit for Mother. Evidence did not support imputation of income to Father. Child’s conduct toward Mother does not support a reduction in Mother’s obligation to Child, absent evidence of interference… Continue Reading

Missouri Case Law Development: Presumed correct child support regarding daycare

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Family Law, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized
Presumed correct support amount even if daycare paid separately. John Mitalovich, Appellant, v. Tammy Lee Toomey, Respondent, No. 87755 (Mo. App. E.D., November 21, 2006, Ahrens, P.J.   This summary is strictly for the purpose of noting the proper findings in a judgment as to the presumed correct support amount for child support when work-related child… Continue Reading

Missouri Case Law Development: Parenting Plan Must Address School Holidays and Birthdays

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Family Law, Legal Separation, Modifications, Uncategorized
Record supports Trial Court’s order for anger management, and order is sufficiently specific to enforce. Trial Court did not stop Father from participating during in-chambers interview, and Child’s statements in that procedure support custody order. Trial Court erred by issuing parenting plan that failed to address custody on Child’s birthday and school holidays, requiring remand.  … Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 8

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. How can a divorcing couple find a good mediator? Personal referrals are usually the best way to find any professional, including a mediator. But because mediation is a relatively new field, personal referrals may not be possible. In… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 7

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. How long does mediation take? Mediation almost always takes less time than litigation. Depending on the issues, it can even take place in one day, although most divorcing couples meet for several sessions on separate days over a… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 6

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. How much does mediation cost? Most mediations involve an hourly or per-session fee, except for those that are ordered by a court or conducted through a community-based mediation agency. These agencies may provide mediation at a reduced cost… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 5

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. Does the mediator meet with both spouses together or separately? Some mediators prefer to work separately with each spouse, acting as a go-between. Others prefer joint meetings where both spouses are present and communication is more direct. There… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 4

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. How do mediating spouses protect their legal rights? Because divorce involves legal questions, every divorcing spouse should know and understand his or her legal rights before agreeing to a settlement. One way for a mediating spouse to do… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 3

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. What is the difference between court-ordered mediation and private mediation? As its name implies, court-ordered mediation is mediation that is required by the court as a part of a divorce proceeding. In many places, mediation is mandatory when… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 2

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. Why is mediation better than going to a lawyer — or is it? Using mediation to negotiate a divorce agreement is almost always going to take less time, cost less, and result in a more solid agreement than… Continue Reading

Divorce Mediation — A series of FAQ’s — Part 1

Posted in Divorce Mediation
How to create a divorce agreement with the help of a mediator — without going to court. What is divorce mediation, and how is it different from arbitration? Divorce mediation is a process in which divorcing spouses try to negotiate an acceptable divorce agreement with the help of a neutral third party: the mediator. The… Continue Reading

Child Support and Taxes

Posted in Child Support and Alimony
What you need to know about your taxes if you pay or receive child support. For federal income tax purposes, child support is tax-free to the recipient, meaning neither the ex-spouse nor the child owes taxes on it. However, child support payments are not tax-deductible by the parent who makes the payments — unlike spousal… Continue Reading

Paternity Issues and Child Support

Posted in Child Support and Alimony
Paternity must usually be established before child support can be collected. The question “Who is the father?” is not as simple a question as you might think. There are important legal distinctions between different situations relating to paternity. When Paternity Is Agreed On or Presumed Acknowledged father. An acknowledged father is a biological father of… Continue Reading