Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: military divorce

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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 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

Court must consider division of marital property before ordering spousal maintenance (alimony); Factors that determine amount of spousal support.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Property Division
In a recent ruling from the Court of Appeals, Husband appealed the trial Court’s decision granting maintenance to the Wife, claiming, among other things, that the Court did not consider the Wife’s award of marital property, and the ability to earn income from it, in its maintenance determination.  The Court of Appeals agreed, remanding 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

Family lawyers and Divorce Attorneys function hand in hand with Forensic Accountants

Posted in Assets and Debts, Discovery, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Property Division
The following post was contributed by guest author Grant Webb, an accounting and accounting law writer for Bisk Education and Villanova University.   Forensic Accountants Fill a Unique Niche Family law and divorce cases are often quite complex. Depending on the number of family members involved, the amount of assets at stake, and the specific … 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

December Courts Bulletin: Recent updates in Missouri Case Law

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
Value of a closely-held corporation must be as fair market value and application of a calculation of value via a buy-sell agreement not related to fair market value is error. Wood v. Wood, No. 96218 (Mo. App. W.D., November 29, 2011), Romines, J. This was an appeal from a dissolution of marriage action. The Husband … Continue Reading

Characterization of Property in Divorce – Increases in Value of Non-Marital Assets only Marital to Extent of Marital Contributions

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
Under Missouri Law, certain property is considered to be non-marital, and not part of the division of the marital estate in a divorce proceeding.  Non-marital property includes property: Acquired before the marriage; Acquired by gift or inheritance; Acquired in exchange for property acquired by 1 and 2 above; Acquired after a decree of legal separation; … 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

Property Not Owned by Spouses Cannot Be Divided in Divorce

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Property Division, Retirement Plans and Division
The Circuit Court does not have authority to divide assets that are not owned by either spouse in a dissolution of marriage.  In a recent Missouri case, the trial court entered a judgment that divided certain trusts where the children were the sole beneficiaries.  Since the parties to the case did not have any interest … Continue Reading

When Attorney Fees Can Be Awarded in Divorce/Family Litigation

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Custody and Visitation, Discovery, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity, Trials
While Missouri courts normally follow the “American Rule” regarding legal fees – that each party is responsible for his or her own costs – Missouri dissolution of Marriage statutes give the court the discretion to order one party to contribute to the other party’s fees. Specifically, Section 452.355.1 provides:   Unless otherwise indicated, the court from … Continue Reading

Child Neglect Shown in recent Decision

Posted in Adoption and Guardianship, Child Abuse, Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Guardian Ad Litem, military divorce, Military Family Law, Modifications, Paternity
In a recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals, clear, cogent and convincing evidence supported a finding of neglect in protecting the child, maintaining the household, and supervising the child.  "If a parent is unable to pay for all of a child’s financial needs, he or she has a duty to provide as much … 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

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

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

When Child Support Terminates in Missouri; Requirements for the Continuation of Child Support while the Child Attends College

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Modifications
Generally, in Missouri child support terminates when a child dies, marries, enters the military, becomes self supporting, or turns 18. However, child support can continue after age 18, and all the way to age 21, if the following requirements are met: If the child is enrolled in and attending high school when he or she turns … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Filings Up Substantially in 2009

Posted in Assets and Debts, Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, military divorce, Military Family Law, Property Division
As a practicing family and bankruptcy attorney, I consistently run into cases where people are dealing with both a divorce (or other family law related matter), as well as a bankruptcy.  This is because, many times, one is the cause of the other (this works both ways), and the cases often go hand in hand. That is probably no surprise … 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

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

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

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

Division of Military Disposable Retired Pay in Divorce Proceedings

Posted in Divorce, military divorce
Under a federal law called the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA for short), Missouri courts are empowered to divide a service members disposable retired pay in the same manner as property.  Since disposable retired pay is a federal government entitlement and not a pension plan, the rules under ERISA do not apply,  and the … Continue Reading