Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

Missouri Divorce & Family Law Blog

for Missourians struggling with divorce and family law matters

Category Archives: Modifications

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Inability to co-parent grounds for sole custody award; Guardian Ad Litem fees assessed to one party appropriate

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Family Law, Financial Issues, Guardian Ad Litem, Modifications
Recent Case:       Parents’ inability to communicate, cooperate, and make shared decisions concerning their children’s welfare makes joint legal custody inappropriate. This case involved a motion to change custody from Mother to Father.  The Court ultimately awarded Father sole legal and sole physical custody of the children, subject to periods of visitation to Mother. The trial … Continue Reading

60 day Notice required for relocation, not Motion to Modify

Posted in Child Custody and Visitation, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
Case Law Update:  Motion to Modify is not required to relocate, but 60 day notice must be given to the non-moving parent, who then may file an objection. Under Missouri law the address designated as the minor child’s primary residence for educational and mailing purposes is considered a sub-issue of custody. A change to the … Continue Reading

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

Inability to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) and declining health support modification of spousal support award in Missouri.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Modifications
Recent case: JPD v. KMD Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED99338 Husband appeals from the trial court’s Judgment denying his  motion to modify his maintenance obligation owed to his ex-wife. Husband argues there was a substantial and continuing change in his income and circumstances between the last modification and this motion, making him … Continue Reading

Missouri Case Law: Dispute Resolution Procedure Required in Parenting Plan

Posted in Financial Issues, Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Modifications, Paternity
Recent case: In Re The Matter of: C.H., by her Next Friend, C.H., and C.H., Individually, Petitioners/Respondents, v. C.W., Respondent/Appellant. Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED98749 Mother appeals from the trial court’s Findings, Conclusions, Order and Judgment of paternity, custody and support entered March 24, 2012, as amended.   AFFIRMED IN PART and … 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

Modification of grandparent custody to Mother solely requires change in circumstances; best interest of child

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Modifications
Recent case: Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED99303 Grandparents appeal from the judgment of the trial court modifying a 2009 custody order changing an arrangement of joint custody between grandparents and Mother to an award of sole legal and physical custody to Mother. Grandparents argue the trial court erred because: (1) it incorrectly … Continue Reading

Missouri Child Support Modification: 20% change in support amount, overnight credits, bonus and interest income, income tax dependency.

Posted in Child Support, Financial Issues, Modifications
Recent Case: JK v. JK WD74592 Father appeals from a judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Cole  County granting Mother’s motion to modify child support. In its judgment, the circuit court found that a substantial and continuing change in circumstances had occurred including, but not limited to: (1) an agreement by the parties to exercise … Continue Reading

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

Relocation of a child subject to a Missouri custody order

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
Missouri law governs the relocation of children after a custody order has been entered. "Relocation" is defined as "a change in the principal residence of a child for a period of ninety days or more, but does not include a temporary absence from the principal residence." A parent who intends to relocate must give written … Continue Reading

Court must set aside child support order if requirements of paternity set-aside statute are met unless court finds and concludes that it is not in the best interests of the child to do so; General order for multiple children does not preclude compliance

Posted in Child Support, Modifications, Paternity
Missouri law allows for a man that has been named to be the father of the child, but is not biologically the father of the child, to petition the court to terminate a child support order that is two years old or less, and, among other things, extinguish the child support arrears. Missouri’s paternity set … Continue Reading

The Petitioner (or movant) in an action to set aside a previous order for paternity and child support must pay the costs of DNA testing.

Posted in Financial Issues, Modifications, Paternity
Recent Case: State of Missouri (FSD) v. [Family Court Commissioner] Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD75408 State ex rel. State of Missouri, Department of Social Services, Family Support Division ("Relator") sought a permanent writ of prohibition to prevent enforcement of an order issued by “Family Court Judge” directing the State to advance the … Continue Reading

Express allegations of abuse or neglect required for mandatory appointment of Guardian Ad Litem; Alternating weekend parenting plan is joint physical custody.

Posted in Child Abuse, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Guardian Ad Litem, Modifications
Recent case:  CJWQ vs. SJQ Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD74342 Mother  appeals the circuit court’s judgment modifying the dissolution decree from her marriage to Father. Mother asserts that the court erred when: (1) it failed to appoint a guardian ad litem pursuant to section 452.423, RSMo Cum. Supp. 2011, claiming that Mother … Continue Reading

No Jurisdiction to Modify Custody Decree under UCCJEA

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
Recent Case: SHA, Respondent, vs. COA, Appellant. Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED97993        Mother appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing her motion to modify a child custody order entered in the State of Illinois. Mother first asserts that her motion to modify sufficiently pleaded facts that, when … Continue Reading

Courts Bulletin: Modifiable maintenance granted at divorce is terminated when all of the reasons it was awarded have changed.

Posted in Alimony / Maintenance, Assets and Debts, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
An action to terminate modifiable maintenance was granted. The case is fact-specific, but deserves reporting simply because of the dearth of appellate cases in which modifiable maintenance is terminated. At the time of the parties’ divorce (dates not noted in opinion, but approximately 2003-2004), the Husband ran a business which earned him approximately $190,000 annually. … 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

Failure to comply with statutory documentation requirement ends support of child in college

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Modifications
Recent case: CB v. DB Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD74067 Father requested information concerning Daughter’s college education, and received limited information through the child-support agencies which served as intermediaries between Father and Mother. On March 31, 2010, Father initiated the present proceedings by filing an affidavit for termination of his child support … Continue Reading

Adding Spouse to Legal Title Transmutes Non-Marital Real Property to Marital; Wedding Rings are Separate Non-Marital Property

Posted in Assets and Debts, Divorce, Modifications, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Property Division
Recent Case:  JJ v. EJ Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD74148 Adding a spouse to the title of non-marital property, in this case a farm, transmutes separate non-marital property into marital property. Consequently, when Respondent re-titled the property adding his spouse to the title, the farm became marital property. When the parties placed … 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

Child support judgment not subject to collateral attack in later proceeding; Court of Appeals can amend child support judgment based on judicial admission.

Posted in Child Support, Divorce, Financial Issues, Legal Proceedings, Modifications
Recent Case: TLD v. JRD Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD73385 Mother appeals from the trial court’s amended judgment order of modification retroactively modifying Father’s child support obligation and ordering Mother to pay Father $19,305.00 in overpaid child support accumulated during the retroactive period. Mother claims the trial court erred in calculating the overpayment. … 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

Case Law Update: No Prejudice from Deficient Relocation Notice

Posted in Child Support, Custody and Visitation, Divorce, Modifications
Missouri statute requires that a parent relocating with a child give notice to the other parent. Receipt of notice starts the 30 day time limit to file a motion to bar the relocation. A deficient notice does not, alone, provide grounds to modify custody and visitation. In this case, the notice was deficient, but the … Continue Reading