» Modifications

Failure to include holiday or vacation schedule in parenting plan is trial court error; Voluntary reduction in Income does not support reduction in child support

Recent Case from the Missouri Court of Appeals: Parenting plans must contain holiday and vacation schedules; voluntary reduction in income does not support child support reduction Mother appeals the trial court’s judgment of modification for a fail… Read More

Restrictions on visitation, and subsequent removal of them, both require a ruling on child’s best interest

Recent Case: When a custody order contains restricted visitation, those restrictions must not be lifted, or even phased out, until a subsequent hearing to determine whether removal of the restrictions is in the child’s best interest. Evidence t… Read More

New Missouri custody law seeks to maximize time with each parent, takes effect August 28

Governor Jay Nixon signed House bill 1550 into law on July 1, 2016, which takes effect August 28, 2016. This law has been dubbed as an equal custody law, or 50/50 custody law, but that is not an entirely accurate description. Rather than specifically… Read More

Modification of Maintenance appropriate on Voluntary Retirement and Increase in Resources of Obligee; No entitlement to attorney fees just because of lesser income.

Recent Case: Wife appeals Judgment of the Circuit Court modifying her spousal maintenance award and denial of attorney fees Statutes base maintenance on, and limit it to, need, and allow modification when a substantial and continuing change in circum… Read More

All financial resources can be considered for support, but parent must have some level of control over gifts and inheritances to count as income

Courts Bulletin: No financial resource is exempt from the court’s consideration for child support and maintenance calculation purposes. However, financial gifts from a parent or third party and lump-sum inheritances/financial gifts are considered a… Read More

Relocation approved, custody changed from joint custody to sole custody

Recent case: Relocation must be in good faith and in children’s best interests; sole custody award appropriate when parents cannot jointly make decisions. In a recent case from the Missouri Supreme Court, a mother sought to modify a judgment dissol… Read More

Domestic Partnership does not constitute marriage for termination of spousal support (aka alimony)

Recent case: Missouri law states that remarriage terminates spousal support unless expressly agreed or ordered otherwise. Domestic partnership does not qualify for this purpose. Ex-Husband appeals the circuit court’s judgment denying his motion to… Read More

Attorney fee expenses cannot be considered part of reasonable monthly expenses in maintenance modification

Recent case: Attorney fees are not a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that supports a modification of maintenance, especially when the fees are for the modification case. Husband appeals the judgment modifying the divorce decree inc… Read More

Rule that a 20% change in child support amount grounds to modify does not apply if original amount was agreed deviation from Form 14

Recent Case: Party seeking modification of previous agreed order must show that they cannot support the child in the manner contemplated at the time of the agreement. 20% rule does not apply. In a recent case from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Fathe… Read More

Modified Child Support retroactive to personal service of the Motion

Recent Case: Retroactive support can only go back to the date of service of the Motion, 20% change in child support amount is grounds for modification, child support can continue if child incapacitated. Father appeals the judgment and decree of modif… Read More