Family law includes many legal issues which relate to a divorce, legal separation, all issues relating to the children, property and asset distribution and so on…
On this page I have provided general descriptions of the various family law legal issues. These legal issues may be best served with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney in order to achieve your desired results in family law legal disputes.
- Divorce / Marriage Dissolution: A divorce or marriage dissolution is the legal action of ending a marriage. A divorce can be either a contested divorce or uncontested divorce. Contested divorces are when the spouses do not mutually agree upon the conditions of the divorce and legally dispute them in order to resolve each contested family law issue. A contested divorce is when the spouses generally agree on all stipulations of the divorce and simply need the conditions to be legally enacted to amicably end the marriage.
- Child Support: Child Support is payment from one spouse to another for support of the children after a divorce or separation. Normally, child support stops when a child turns 18 years old, unless the child is still a full-time student. Child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and is not considered as income by the receiving parent or as a tax deduction by the paying parent.
- Child Custody & Child Visitation: While the premise is the same, Missouri no longer recognizes the terms “primary physical custody”. Instead, Missouri recognizes the terms “joint legal custody” and “joint physical custody” as well as “sole legal custody” and “sole physical custody”. The terms are designed to reduce conflict and facilitate a parenting schedule which serves the best interest of the children. Although a child or children may spend more parenting time with one parent, the other parent may still be able to obtain a joint physical and joint legal custody award if either agreed upon by the parties or enacted by the court.
- Child Paternity: Typically speaking, the paternity of a child is sought to be established by a parent once a child has been born out of wedlock or when there is a dispute of paternity by a father due to suspected infidelity. Paternity may be disestablished in certain circumstances once it has been determined that the child is not the biological child of a particular party. A paternity request may also be brought when a man has a solid foundation to establish that they are indeed the father of a child, when disputed by the mother.
- Child Adoption: Adoption is a legal procedure by which a child legally becomes part of a family, creating a legal relationship, just as if the child had been biologically born to the adoptive parents. Through the process of adoption, adopting parents are able to make a child part of their family, legally and unequivocally, taking all rights and obligations of a natural parent. The adopted child assumes the rights and limitations of a child born to natural parents.
Modification: Child Support Modifications: A parent may make a request to change the existing court ordered amount of child support owed when a substantial change in the circumstances surrounding the support of the child can be effectively demonstrated to the court. However, any modification must still be in the best interest of the child or children.
Child Custody or Visitation Modifications: A parent may make a request to change the existing child custody or visitation court orders is a significant change in circumstances exist to warrant a modification of the current child custody and visitation orders. However, any modification must still be in the best interest of the child or children.