Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Military Family Law

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“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

Missouri Supreme Court Increases Maximum Child Support Overnight Credit

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Financial Issues, Military Family Law, Paternity
The Missouri Supreme Court has recently issued an order that, effective, January 1, 2012, increases the maximum allowable Form 14 child support overnight credit to 50%.  Specifically, on the Form 14, which is Missouri’s child support calculation formula, the non-custodial (paying) parent is given a credit for the number of overnights that parent spends with the … 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

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

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

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