Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Marriage and Family

Subscribe to Marriage and Family RSS Feed

Same Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional in Missouri; Same Sex Couples Marry in Kansas City and St. Louis

Posted in Family Law, Living Together - Cohabitation, Marriage, Marriage and Family, Marriage and Living Together, Same Sex Couple Issues
A federal judge in Kansas City ruled on Friday that Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution in a decision that would extend the right of gay couples to marry across Missouri. U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith found that the Missouri ban ran afoul of the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal … Continue Reading

Missouri Attorney General issues statement on same-sex marriages

Posted in Living Together - Cohabitation, Marriage and Family, Marriage and Living Together, Same Sex Couple Issues
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today issued the following statement related to the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds issuing marriage licenses to several same-sex couples: “While I personally support the goal of marriage equality, my duty as Attorney General is to defend the laws of the state of Missouri. While many people … 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: 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

Missouri no fault divorce – what it does and does not mean

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Marriage and Family, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division, Trials
Similar to other states, Missouri is a modified no-fault divorce state. However, there is some misconception out there about what this actually means for divorcing parties in Missouri. Modified no-fault divorce means that a party does not have to prove that their spouse committed some kind of misconduct, such as adultery, abandonment, financial, etc., in order for … Continue Reading

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

If you pay child support per a Missouri judicial or administrative order and your income is reduced or lost – A Motion to Modify is required.

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Marriage and Family, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity, Trials
In today’s turbulent economic climate, where job losses or reductions in income are frequent, it is critical to immediately deal with a child support order upon any significant change in income. Failure to act quickly can lead to an even greater financial disaster.  Here’s why: In Missouri, a child support order, regardless of whether it is … 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

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

Tenancy by the Entireties exemption for Married Couples Holds – Case Law Update

Posted in Assets and Debts, Financial Issues, Marriage and Family
The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District of Missouri has just recently upheld the Missouri exemption (protection from creditors) for Tenancy by the Entirety for jointly owned property by married couples. Tenancy by the Entireties is a special form of property ownership that Missouri, and some other states, reserved for married couples only. Tenancy … Continue Reading

Separation Anxiety: 5 Ways to Help Your Children Cope With Divorce

Posted in Divorce, Marriage and Family
The following post appeared earlier this month on the South Carolina Family Law Blog.  I thought these were some great thoughts for divorcing parents to keep in mind: While divorce proceedings may pose a great burden upon parents, they often have a disproportionate affect upon children, who may not fully understand the process. Parental separation can fundamentally … 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

Should Your Child Have a “Gap Year” Before College

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Marriage and Family
Princeton encourages it. Harvard’s a big fan. From Tufts to MIT, some of the most prestigious universities in the nation are urging students to consider something that would make most parents cringe: The idea of putting off college for a year in favor of some much-needed down-time.  It’s called a “gap year.” And while it’s … Continue Reading

A Dozen Ways Children Of Divorce Get Caught In Their Parents’ Conflict Part 3 of 3 (9-12)

Posted in Divorce, Marriage and Family
Every divorcing parent should make it their top priority to keep their children from getting caught in the middle of the conflict of their divorce.  The following is the third installment of tips and thoughts are from James Roberts, RSW, a licensed social worker  in Missouri and Kansas and family therapist in Kansas.  Mr. Roberts practices with … Continue Reading

A Dozen Ways Children of Divorce Get Caught In Their parents’ Conflict: Part 2 (5-8)

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Marriage and Family
Every divorcing parent should make it their top priority to keep their children from getting caught in the middle of the conflict of their divorce.  The following is the second installment of tips and thoughts are from James Roberts, RSW, a licensed social worker  in Missouri and Kansas and family therapist in Kansas.  Mr. Roberts practices … Continue Reading

A Dozen Ways Children Of Divorce Get Caught In Their Parents’ Conflict – Part 1 (1-4)

Posted in Divorce, Marriage and Family
Every divorcing parent should make it their top priority to keep their children from getting caught in the middle of the conflict of their divorce.  The following tips and thoughts are from James Roberts, RSW, a licensed social worker  in Missouri and Kansas and family therapist in Kansas.  Mr. Roberts practices with Madison Avenue Psychological Services … Continue Reading

Parenting showdown: Moms vs. Dads Couples’ fights on raising kids can significantly impact all family members

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Marriage and Family
Child-rearing is often a sensitive and complicated issue for couples, and many argue about just how to properly raise their young. But for children, major parental disagreement is a source of mixed messages and confusion that may undermine the attitudes, values and behaviors parents hope to teach. Stacy DeBroff, president of the popular parenting website … Continue Reading

Jackson County Parenting Together Living Apart Class Information

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Marriage and Family, Paternity
The following post is information for clients who have paternity or custody actions pending in Eastern or Western Jackson county Missouri about the PTLA program which is required by the Court. PTLA (Parenting Together Living Apart) is a parent educational program designed to teach parents who have never been married to each other but have … Continue Reading

Study: Few Have Rainy Day Savings

Posted in Financial Issues, Marriage and Family
Considering the fact that financial issues are a significant cause of stress on the family, I thought the following article, recently published at msnbc.com provided some very useful information.  It is republished below: Most Americans have no emergency savings, a new survey shows. The findings are consistent with a host of other surveys and government data … Continue Reading

Hearing over paternity of Anna Nicole Smith’s infant daughter slated Friday

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Marriage and Family, Uncategorized
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The melodramatic legal fallout from Anna Nicole Smith’s death shifted Friday from where to bury the former Playboy Playmate to who gets custody of her baby, who could inherit millions. Attorneys for Larry Birkhead, the photographer who claims to have fathered 5-month-old Dannielynn, planned to ask a Florida family court … Continue Reading