Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Financial Issues

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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

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

2 year statute of limitations applies to set aside a paternity and child support order, even if fraud exists.

Posted in Child Support, Family Law, Financial Issues, Paternity
Mother and Father (T.B.) had a baby in 2000.  Mother told T.B. he was the father, and he signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity.  The Family Support Division made an administrative determination that T.B. was the legal father, and ordered T.B. to pay child support for the child in February 2001. Sometime prior to June 2010,… 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

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

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

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

Attorney fee expenses cannot be considered part of reasonable monthly expenses in maintenance modification

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Family Law, Financial Issues, Modifications
Recent case: Attorney fees are not a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that supports a modification of maintenance, especially when the fees are for the modification case. Husband appeals the judgment modifying the divorce decree increasing his maintenance obligation from $4000 to $4400 per month. Holding: Reversed and remanded to trial Court The trial… 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

Modified Child Support retroactive to personal service of the Motion

Posted in Child Support, Child Support and Alimony, Financial Issues, Modifications, Trials
Recent Case:  Retroactive support can only go back to the date of service of the Motion, 20% change in child support amount is grounds for modification, child support can continue if child incapacitated. Father appeals the judgment and decree of modification of dissolution of marriage entered by the Circuit Court. Father claims that the trial… 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

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

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

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

Child Support Credit for Overnights Mandatory

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Modifications
Recent case: A. Harris vs. G Harris, Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED99276 Father appeals the trial court’s judgment and decree of dissolution of marriage. Father claims the trial court erred in calculating Father’s child support obligation because Father was entitled to an adjustment for overnight visitation. REVERSED AND REMANDED. The Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Missouri Case Law: Dispute Resolution Procedure Required in Parenting Plan

Posted in Financial Issues, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Modifications, Paternity
Recent case: In Re The Matter of: C.H., by her Next Friend, C.H., and C.H., Individually, Petitioners/Respondents, v. C.W., Respondent/Appellant. Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED98749 Mother appeals from the trial court’s Findings, Conclusions, Order and Judgment of paternity, custody and support entered March 24, 2012, as amended.   AFFIRMED IN PART and… Continue Reading

Missouri Divorce FAQ: What is spousal maintenance (alimony), how is it calculated, and how long does it last in Missouri?

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Modifications
In a Missouri divorce case, one of the issues that the Court will have to decide is the payment of maintenance (alimony) to the former spouse.  Spousal maintenance payments are monthly payments made from one spouse to the other when one spouse cannot support themselves.  A successful spousal maintenance claim will usually involve a situation… 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