Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Legal Proceedings

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Recent ruling: Termination of parental rights unsupported

Posted in Child Abuse, Custody and Visitation, Domestic Abuse, Guardian Ad Litem, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, Paternity
The statute provides that, when considering whether to terminate parental rights, the circuit court must consider certain factors, as to which evidence was either absent; less than clear, cogent and convincing; or favored the parent.  Factors including whether mental condition will improve does not mean intelligence.  Whatever else may be appropriate, judgment terminating parental rights… Continue Reading

Court clarifies confusing child support statute pertaining to college course requirements:

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
The Missouri statute that mandates the continuation of child support after age 18 if the child attends college was amended in 2007, and provisions were added that are somewhat contradictory. In a recent ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Court clarified the statute, as well what will cause a child to fail to meet… 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

Parenting Plan that Vaguely Assigns Decision Making Responsibilities to Third Party Unenforceable.

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Modifications, Paternity
In a recent ruling by the Missouri Court of Appeals, in a custody modification proceeding, the trial court’s modified parenting plan delegated the authority to make all medical, educational, and extracurricular decisions for one of the parents’ two children to her “team of doctors.” The Court held that these provisions of the plan are too… Continue Reading

Unmarried Parents: What you should know and do when served with an administrative order for child support (from the Family Support Division)

Posted in Child Support, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Modifications, Paternity
In Missouri, there are two primary ways that a non-married parent can seek to establish child support, judicial and administrative.   A judicial action is through the circuit court, and an administrative action is through the Family Support Division. The Division is an administrative agency which has the power to issue binding orders for child support,… Continue Reading

Missouri Legislature passes Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and eliminates requirement that social security numbers be included in family law pleadings and judgments

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Modifications, Paternity
Newly passed legislation will finally enact the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act as of August 28, 2009. Missouri was one of only three states that had not yet enacted the UCCJEA. This act will replace the current Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA). The act limits child custody jurisdiction to one state, avoids competing… 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

Supreme Court Advisory Committee Determines Collaborative Law is Ethical in Missouri

Posted in Attorney Client Relationship, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
On August 20, 2008 the Advisory Commitee of the Supreme Court of Missouri issued a formal opinion that the practice of Collaborative law, a form of practice where clients agree from the outset to settle their case out of court through negotiation rather than litigation, is ethical and permissible in Missouri.  In the area of… Continue Reading

What California’s Same Sex Marriage Law Means to Missourians

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, Pre-Nuptial Agreements
As most people know, the California Supreme Court recently ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  So what does that mean for Missourians?  In California, there were two statutes that said that a marriage is between a man and a woman, which was interpreted to prohibit same sex marriage.  The Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Why You Need a Divorce Lawyer

Posted in Attorney Client Relationship, Divorce, Legal Proceedings
The Pennsylvania Family Law Blog had a great post yesterday about why you need a lawyer for your divorce case.  The full article can be read here, and is summarized as follows: A good divorce lawyer is part lawyer, part psychologist and part clergy. A good divorce lawyer also is indispensable if you are contemplating a divorce (or,… Continue Reading

Recent Family Law Rulings From the Missouri Court Of Appeals

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Domestic Abuse, Guardian Ad Litem, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
Circuit Court May Depart From Recommendations On Physical Custody Guardian ad litem and court-appointed therapist both recommended joint legal custody and supervised visitation for Father. Circuit Court followed the former but not the latter. When evidence supports an alternative award, “the trial court is not bound by the requests of any party as to custody… Continue Reading

Case Law Update: Post-Judgment Procedures Pitfall

Posted in Legal Proceedings
Susan J. Southard, Petitioner/Respondent v. James A. Southard, Respondent/Appellant, No. 89217 (Mo. App. E.D., November 27, 2007), Romines, J.   This was an action for modification heard by a family court commissioner. The commissioner’s findings and recommendations were adopted and the original judgment was modified as to custody. Father filed a motion for de novo rehearing.… Continue Reading

Recent family law decisions from the Missouri Courts of Appeals

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Property Division, Spousal Abuse
Death Moots Appeal Father’s death mooted Mother’s appeal of visitation provisions in judgment. As to Third-Party Respondent, Mother’s appeal of property division is supported by evidence in the record, so Court of Appeals affirms. "[T]his Court accepts as true the evidence and reasonable inferences . . . in the light most favorable to the trial… Continue Reading

Missouri Family Case Law Update: Error in Classification of Property No Grounds for Reversal

Posted in Legal Proceedings, Property Division
Evidence showing Husband’s abuse and attempts to co-opt Child into abusive behaviors supported order of restricted and supervised visitation. Testimony against Husband was not biased, just unfavorable. Trial Court erred in classifying property as separate even though there was no evidence to rebut the presumption that the property was marital, but such error did not cause property division… Continue Reading

Important and helpful documents needed for your divorce case

Posted in Divorce, Legal Proceedings
If you are contemplating filing for divorce, or if you are already involved in a proceeding, it is critically important for your attorney to have a complete financial picture of both spouses.  This includes income, asset, and debt information for both parties to the action. The earlier this information is gathered, the better.  By being… Continue Reading