» Child Abuse

Guardianship of children approved upon showing of unfitness and inability to parent

Recent Case from the Court of Appeals: Letters of Guardianship Affirmed Mother appeals from the trial court’s judgment, which appointed Petitioners as guardians over two minor children. The trial court’s judgment found the children’s parents (M… Read More

Marijuana use not grounds for termination of parental rights

Recent Case: Marijuana use under the level of chemical dependency not grounds for termination of parental rights Father appeals from the judgment terminating his parental rights. Grounds for termination of parental rights require clear and convincing… Read More

Every child is entitled to a permanent and stable home

Recent case: Termination of parental rights for failure to rectify When children are taken into protective care by the children’s division, the goal is to reunite the children and the parent(s). However, parental rights can ultimately be terminated… Read More

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

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… Read More

Case Law Update: No Child Abandonment Without Knowledge

Recent Ruling: Termination of parental rights requires proof of statutory grounds by clear, convincing and cogent evidence, and proof of child’s best interest by a preponderance of the evidence. In an action to terminate parental rights, the statut… Read More

Child Neglect Shown in recent Decision

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… Read More

Recent ruling: Termination of parental rights unsupported

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 includin… Read More

Recent Case: Termination Of Incarcerated Parent's Rights Reversed

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 c… Read More

The Financial Aspects of Divorce: Why It usually IS "All About The Money"

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 thei… Read More

Missouri Legislature passes Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and eliminates requirement that social security numbers be included in family law pleadings and judgments

Newly passed legislation will finally enact the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act as of August 28, 2009. Missouri was one of only three states that had not yet enacted the UCCJEA. This act will replace the current Uniform Child C… Read More