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Family Law

Missouri Equal Custody Law

A new custody law will take effect in Missouri on August 28, 2016, pursuant to HB 1550. The provisions have been reported to create a new presumption significantly favoring “equal” or “50/50” custodial time Judgments. For instance, a recent Missourian article states that the law is based on research showing that “shared parenting, or 50/50 custody” is best for children. The article further states that the law moves Missouri towards having equal custody as the norm, instead of the exception to the rule.

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Missouri Step Parent Adoptions

Under Missouri law an adoption of a minor child by a step-parent is a two (2) step proceeding. First, the rights of the child’s natural parent who the adoptive step parent will be replacing must have his or her parental rights terminated. Second, following the termination of parental rights the court must find that the adoption is in the best interest of the child, and enter a judgment of adoption.

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Missouri Orders of Protection and Ex Parte Orders

An order of protection seeks an order protecting an individual from physical abuse, physical threats, stalking or harassment. Additionally, the Court may grant orders affecting numerous other rights of parties. This includes child custody, child support, maintenance (alimony) and property possession. RSMO Section 455.045 Given the vast array of relief that may be granted by the Court, and the fast-moving nature of the proceedings, having an attorney assist with your order of protection can be beneficial to the outcome of your case.

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Missouri Spousal Maintenance and Alimony

One of the main ways that parties may continue to be financially linked for years after a divorce is through a court order for spousal maintenance, formally known as “alimony.” Having an attorney that can help you determine whether a maintenance order is likely, and how much the payments may be, is very important because of the long term monetary implications involved.

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Missouri Relocation Following Child Custody Orders

A custodial parent may want to change their child’s residence after a custody judgment has been entered. Missouri considers this to be such a potentially significant event that it has enacted a specific statutory procedure to address the situation. Any Missouri custodial parent considering a move with their child should be certain to follow this procedure.

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Factors Involved in the Division of Property in a Divorce

One of the essential parts of obtaining a divorce in Missouri is dividing the property of the spouses. Some common misconceptions involving the division of marital property are that each party automatically keeps what they acquire after the parties stop living together, or that the Court often awards the vast majority of property to one party.

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Effect of Private Tuition on Child Support Calculations

There are many pieces of data which must be included in the Form 14 in order to properly calculate support. In this article we will explore whether tuition for private elementary, high school, or college tuition may be included under line 6e as “other agreed-upon or court-ordered extraordinary child-rearing costs.” The inclusion or exclusion of this expense can have drastic effects on the final monthly support amount.

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Child Custody and Relocation of a Child’s Principal Residence

Under Missouri law certain restrictions are placed on a parent who wishes to relocate his or her principal residence following an order of divorce, custody, or paternity. A parent who has custody of his or her child subject to a prior divorce, custody, or paternity order is required to provide written notice to the other parent before relocation of the child’s principal residence. 

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