The Law Office of Kurt H King

January 5, 2011

Changing Child Custody or Support by Agreement in Missouri–Get a Court Order!

Filed under: Custody,Family Law,Support — kurthking @ 5:45 pm
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What if father pays child support and mother brings the children to him and says, “you take care of them–and I don’t want any child support?” What happens if the father stops sending in his child support to the Family Support Payment Center? And, what if mother changes mind 7 months later and takes children back?

The father in this example needs to file to get a court order immediately based on a stipulation/agreement with mother, or otherwise if she won’t sign a stipulation, changing custody and terminating his child support obligation.

If he fails to do so, his child support obligation does NOT stop, he builds up a child support non-payment arrearage, and he lacks the court order to prove that he now has the primary/home/residential custody rights to the children. That let’s the mother in this example walk back in and take the chilren–even claim the back due child support that accrued while the father had the children (she may or may not win on the back support but she puts father out to hire an lawyer and try to get court order that he does not owe the back support).

This happens time and again, often to folks who cannot afford to make a mistake and cannot repay back child support.

Get A Court Order or Beware.

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
816.781.6000
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068
http://www.kurthking.com

Bankruptcy, Child Custody and Support, Divorce and Modification, Family Law
Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

July 20, 2010

Calculating Child Support in Missouri (via Kurt’s Take on Law)

Filed under: Custody,Divorce,Family Law,Paternity,Support — kurthking @ 9:05 pm
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Trying to get a handle on how much child support should be in Missouri?  You may find this website with child support form and software helpful–www.teamlex.com/Areas/form14.htm And the 2009 Missouri Child Support Guidelines (which change upon periodic review by the Missouri Supreme Court) may be found at–www.mobar.org/data/esq08/oct10/order-form14.pdf Remember that Missouri uses gross income and not net income (exception:  self-employed may ded … Read More

via Kurt’s Take on Law

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
816.781.6000
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068
http://www.kurthking.com

Bankruptcy, Child Custody and Support, Divorce and Modification, Family Law
Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

February 9, 2010

Shared Child Custody in Missouri–Will the Court Order it

A frequent question on family law in Missouri is will the Court order a shared custody plan where the parents alternate weeks with the children of the marriage/paternity relationship.

Speaking mainly as to experience with the Clay County Circuit Court setting in Liberty, Missouri–which other Missouri courts may or may not mirror on this issue–my take is that the court is likely to order such shared custody ONLY IF both parents agree that it is in the best interests of the children.  Of course, if a child is in school, then both parents are going to need to be close enough to the school to get the child to school without a long drive. 

If the court sees problems with shared custody for the child, it may decide not to order shared custody even if both parents think it is the best way to go.  (Sometimes a parent may agree to shared custody for the wrong reasons, i.e., to reduce child support, to win on some other issue, lacked the money to resist the other parent, etc.)

What if the parents do NOT agree that shared custody is best for the children?  Then my experience is there is a slim to none chance that the court will order shared custody for the children.  An explanation is that the court prefers a primary residential home base for the children, especially where the parents are not in agreement on working a shared custody plan.

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
816.781.6000
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068
http://www.kurthking.com

Bankruptcy, Child Custody and Support, Divorce and Modification, Family Law
Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

February 8, 2010

Proof of Sexual Abuse by Expert In Missouri

Filed under: Custody,Family Law,Litigation — kurthking @ 5:04 pm
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Say you are in a child custody or criminal court case in Missouri, perhaps Clay County, involving allegations of sexual abuse of a child.   For example, what if the mother accuses the father or step-father of abusing a young girl, and moves the court for an order that the father have no visitation or contact with the child–or only supervised visitaiton?

How to prove innocence?–or guilt?   What if the alleged perpetrator undergoes an psychological evaluation by an expert to determine if he or she did abuse the child?  Will an examination really prove anything about whether he did so?

I recently spoke with a national expert on this issue and learned that the evaluation generally canNOT support a finding that a particular person sexually abused the child.  (I say “generally” because of exceptions where the accused admits guilt, a witness saw it happen, or there is other concrete evidence that a person did abuse, and so on.)

The reason given: there is no “official” profile of a sex abuser.   So it is bunk when the expert says that a person “fits the profile” of a sex abuser” and therefore did abuse. 

Nor does such testing enable the expert to come to court and testify that the mental evaluation established that the accused “shows characteristics of a child abuser.”  (One question for any such expert would be how does he/she know what the public norm is for any test to reveal such “characteristics”–i.e., what percentage of the public would look at younger persons of a sex for longer than older persons and for what reasons.)

More importantly, even if testing could show such characteristics, it is no proof that the father/defendant abused the particular child in question.  

If a person is on the defense side of this issue, and the other side finds an expert to say the person is child sex abuser, or fits the profile of one, or has such characteristics, then be proactive.  Get a credible expert to come to report or testify on your behalf to explain why a mental examination generally does not establish that a person did sexually abuse a child.  File a Daubert motion or some other motion to disqualify the expert that claims that his mental evaluation proves a person is the child’s sexual abuser.

But realize that even if you discredit the expert, some stain may still remain from the child abuse allegations.  Rarely will the accused come completely clear of the allegations barring the child or accusing parent admitting it was all false.  Winning primary or residential child custody will be difficult for the person accused of sexual abuse of a child.

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
816.781.6000
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64024
http://www.kurthking.com

Bankruptcy, Child Custody and Support, Divorce and Modification, Family Law
Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

February 1, 2010

Setting Aside Paternity In Missouri

Filed under: Custody,Family Law,Paternity,Support — kurthking @ 4:26 pm
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Couple things fathers may need to know about paternity cases in Missouri. A 2009 Missouri law, 210.854, lets fathers get a court order of DNA paternity testing even after a court says that a particular guy is the father of the child involved. Deadline to file is December 31, 2011, but after that date you have to file the petition to set aside the paternity judgment within 2 years of the date that established paternity. If you wait too long, you may be out of luck. Second thing to know is that the local Clay County, Missouri, court clerk requires that you know the child’s SSN to file the case. Some mother’s don’t want to tell a guy that he is the father and do not trust him with the child’s SSN.

This law is a good thing for a father who failed to request a paternity test.  That happens sometimes when a father does not understand the Missouri court rules, did not see the notice of his right to request a paternity test, or maybe simply was sure he was the father but now is not.

Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King
816.781.6000
20 E. Franklin
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068
http://www.kurthking.com

Bankruptcy, Child Custody and Support, Divorce and Modification, Family Law
Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

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