Children, Support, and Property

What if my ex tries to move the kids out state?

If your divorce has not been filed and your wife tries to move the children to another state, you should consult with an attorney about filing for divorce immediately to make sure that the court in Missouri will have jurisdiction over the children. Most states have a residency requirement before a parent can file for divorce. The party must be a resident of the state for a specified period of time, before they can file for divorce. In Missouri, a parent would have to reside in this state for at least 90 days immediately before filing for divorce.

When can I modify custody in Missouri?

In order for the court to modify the terms of a custody order, there must be a continuing and substantial change in the circumstances of the child or the child’s custodian and the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child. It is important to understand that there must be new facts that have come up since the prior order, or there must be facts that were not known by the court at the time of the prior order.

Do grandparents have custody and visitation rights?

Missouri child custody law permits grandparent visitation only in limited situations. There is no guaranteed right for a grandparent to have visitation with a grandchild. The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to grandparents under the following circumstances: The parents of the child have filed for divorce. Grandparents have the right to intervene solely on the issue of visitation rights. Grandparents also have the right to file a motion to modify the original divorce decree to seek visitation rights; One parent of the child is deceased and the surviving parent denies the grandparent reasonable visitation rights; The child has resided Read more

When can my child decide which parent to live with?

In Missouri child custody issues, one of the factors the court must consider is the wishes of the child. Courts will allow the child to give testimony on his/her preference if the court determines that is appropriate. The courts have indicated that starting around age 11, a child can express his/her opinion about where he/she would like to live primarily. The judge will decide how much weight to give to a child’s opinion. The older a child gets, the more weight his/her opinion is given in deciding who should have custody of the child. The question of whether your child Read more

Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid?

No. A parent may not refuse to allow or cut back the other parent’s visitation with the children simply because the other parent has not paid his/her child support. Payment of child support and visitation are legally independent matters. Both parents have the right to have a meaningful relationship with their children. It should also be pointed out that if one parent refuses to allow the other parent visitation, that parent may not use that as a reason to withhold or stop paying child support. Both of these actions are subject to contempt charges separately.

How is Missouri child custody decided? Who will get custody of our child?

Missouri custody laws state the court is required to determine what is in the best interests of the children. There are two components to the custody of a child that the court must determine. The court must decide which parent will have, or how both parents will share, the decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to the health, education and welfare of the child. This is referred to as legal custody. The court must also decide where the child will have and how the parents will share the physical time with the child. This component is referred to as physical Read more

Can I get maintenance or will I have to provide maintenance to my spouse?

The court may grant maintenance if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance does not have sufficient property to provide for his/her reasonable needs and is unable to support himself/herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home. There is no pre-determined formula to determine the amount or length of maintenance. The court will consider relevant factors including the length of the marriage, the financial resources of the parties, the conduct of the parties during the marriage and the Read more