Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Legal Separation

Subscribe to Legal Separation RSS Feed

Electronic Domestic Case Filing Begins in March in Jackson County

Posted in Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Modifications, Paternity
News Release from the Jackson County Circuit Court: Starting in March, there will be no more mad dashes to the courthouse by attorneys to file papers at the last minute. The Circuit Court in Jackson County will begin paperless electronic filing which is expected to save shoe leather for attorneys and public dollars for the … Continue Reading

“Sole physical custody” award that incorporates significant parenting time to the other parent is not sole custody by definition, but joint custody instead

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Guardian Ad Litem, Legal Separation, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
Recent ruling: TC A Minor Child, by and through JC, Next Friend and JC, Individually v SI Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD7455 Father appeals from a judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Clay County in an action to establish the paternity of his daughter, T.C.C. Father challenges the trial court’s decisions … Continue Reading

Factors Considered by the Court when Making a Custody Determination

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Domestic Abuse, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity, Spousal Abuse
In Missouri, there are guidelines that the Court must follow in making a child custody determination.  While all child custody determinations must be made in accordance with the best welfare and interests of the child, there is also a statutory and case law framework that guides the court in making the determination.  Note that when … Continue Reading

Courts Bulletin: Child Relocation

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Separation, Modifications, Paternity
Under § 452.377, RSMo, relocation of child’s residence requires strict compliance to statutorily required notice before strict compliance with time to file objection to relocation is required. Abraham v. Abraham, No. 31099 (Mo. App. S.D., October 26, 2011), Rahmeyer, J. A dissolution of marriage was granted to the parties in April 2006. In September 2010, … Continue Reading

Awarding Tax Dependency Credit To Non Custodial Parent Not Prejudicial When Custodial Parent Has No Income

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Modifications, Paternity
New Case Law: CB v. DB Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District – SD31614 Notwithstanding the fact that the Missouri case law generally states that tax benefits must go to the custodial spouse unless the trial court expressly finds it unjust or inappropriate to do so, our western district has held that noncompliance with Form … Continue Reading

Courts Bulletin: Recent developments in Missouri Family Law

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Modifications, Paternity, Property Division
  Administrative child support orders are available for the support of all eligible children, including children of citizens of other countries. Lajeunesse v. State of Missouri Department of Social Services, No. 73477 (Mo. App. W.D., October 4, 2011), Martin, J. A child was born to a Russian citizen in West Virginia. Father was a Missouri … Continue Reading

Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Missouri: When Granted, Duration, Termination, Modifcation.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, Modifications
Spousal maintenance, formerly known as alimony, can be awarded to either spouse in Missouri divorces.  To support the award, the Court must find that the spouse seeking maintenance (1) lacks sufficient property, including marital properly awarded, to meet their reasonable needs, and (2) the spouse is unable to support themselves through appropriate employment OR is … Continue Reading

Recent case: Forum under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and in personam jurisdiction

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Legal Separation, Property Division
www.courts.mo.gov/file.jspMissouri Constitution provides subject matter jurisdiction of circuit courts. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act provides comity among states and determines which state is the most appropriate forum for seeking remedy. The Circuit court should make findings under those provisions. Rule and statute describe minimum contacts necessary to make a person subject to circuit court … Continue Reading

Who gets to claim the kids for federal and state income tax purposes?

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Military Family Law, Paternity, Property Division
There are many ways that the income tax dependency for children in divorce can be handled, although most of them are not supported by the law.  If the parties are in agreement, then nearly any method of claiming the children can be used, including alternating years, splitting the deductions between the parents (in the case of multiple … 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

Missouri Supreme Court Decision: Spouse’s Contribution to Separate Property Creates Marital Interest In Property Which May Be Divided by Trial Court

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Property Division
In a recent decision by the Supreme Court of Missouri, the Court held that a spouses contribution to otherwise separate property creates a marital interest that can be divided by the Court.  In Missouri, property that was owned prior to the marriage is generally considered to be separate, non-marital property.  Separate property is awarded to the … Continue Reading

Recent Case: Termination Of Incarcerated Parent’s Rights Reversed

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
In a recent termination of parental rights case, the Court stated that statutory grounds of abandonment, neglect, and unfitness require clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. The Incarcerated parent’s diligent efforts at maintaining contact with child refuted such allegations. The “Child may suffer from Father’s absence, but getting in trouble before he knew about Child is no … Continue Reading

Full Custody, Joint Custody, Sole or Split? Or maybe 50/50. What do I really want and what exactly do these words mean in Missouri anyway?

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Modifications, Paternity
In cases involving children, the Court must, either by agreement or by trial, set up some sort of custodial arrangement for the kids involved. There are many options available, all of which fit under a just a few legally recognized categories. There are as many if not more “definitions” of custody floating around out there that don’t … Continue Reading

The Financial Aspects of Divorce: Why It usually IS “All About The Money”

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Abuse, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division
I can’t think of how many times that I have had a client tell me, regardless of what the issue is that is in dispute, that the opposing party is “just worried about money” or that it is “all about the money” for him or her, and that is their sole motivation in the case. Or maybe … 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

Be Careful When Incorporating Maintenance Into Marital Settlement Agreement

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, Modifications
An issue that I have seen a few times, and that was recently before the Court of Appeals for the Southern District, involves the incorporation of maintenance (alimony) provisions into a Marital Settlement Agreement, where the agreement provides that the terms are not subject to modification.    Extreme care should be used when drafting such a … Continue Reading

Missouri Child Support Guidelines and Case Law: Part 1 – Gross Income, Overtime, and Bonuses

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, military divorce, Paternity
For the purposes of calculating child support in Missouri, the Form 14 calculation is used.  The starting point is the Gross Income of the parties.  So, what does that include and what exactly does it mean?  The following is a summary of the official comments and relatively recent court rulings on the definition. “Gross income" includes, … Continue Reading

CPA’s as Forensic Accountants in Divorce

Posted in Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Separation, Property Division
The following article has recently appeared on at least a few of the family law blogs, which I found to be particularly interesting.  Thanks to the Oklahoma Family Law Blog and the Georgia Family Law Blog for sharing this information with us.   Marriage has become a delicate venture. According to the U.S. Census bureau, … 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

Tips for Newly Single Parents

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized
The Following practical tips are offered by New York Times/about.com author Jennifer Wolf on how to get through your first year as a single parent. Develop a Support Network This is absolutely crucial. You need to know who you can depend on right now. Most likely, this network includes your immediate family and friends, but think … Continue Reading

Telling Your Child About Divorce

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Legal Separation, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized
Divorce is stressful for parents and children alike. Although children’s emotional reactions usually depend on their age at the time of the divorce, many children experience feelings of sadness, anger, and anxiety – and it’s not uncommon for these feelings to be expressed in their behavior. Often, the child’s emotional reaction can be quite different … Continue Reading

Giving Depositions in your family law case: An Overview and some tips

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Discovery, Legal Separation, Modifications, Uncategorized
In its simplest form, a deposition is the giving of oral testimony under oath before trial.  Depositions are conducted in front of a court reporter and will assist your attorney in the preparation for trial.  The use of oral depositions is a standard procedure in family law cases for discovering relevant and material facts, determining … Continue Reading