The Law Office of Kurt H King

December 1, 2020

Amend Your Divorce Judgment for Bump Up in Missouri PERS/PEERS Retirement Payments

Recently, two elderly former educators who taught in Missouri public schools for years filed a joint motion to amend their divorce judgment to provide that neither of them would continue to have any survivorship rights whatsoever in the PERS/PEERS retirement of the other. By the Court issuing an amended judgment of dissolution of their marriage, both the former husband and former wife received a “bump up” in their monthly retirement payments from PERS/PEERS.

This is because effective August 28, 2019, Missouri lawmakers added to subsection 3 of sections 169.141 and 169.715, RSMo, to enable persons whose marriage was dissolved before September 1, 2017, to receive increased monthly retirement benefits:

            “3.  Any person receiving a retirement allowance under sections 169.010 to 169.140 who elected a reduced retirement allowance under subsection 3 of section 169.070 with his or her spouse as the nominated beneficiary may have the retirement allowance increased to the amount the retired member would be receiving had the retired member elected option 1 if:

            *                                              *                                              *

(2)  The marriage of the retired person and the nominated spouse was dissolved before September 1, 2017, and:

                        *                                              *                                              *

            (b) The dissolution decree does not  provide for sole retention by the retired person

            of all rights in the retirement allowance and the parties obtain an amended or modified

            dissolution decree after September 1, 2017, which provides for sole retention by the

            retired person of all rights in the retirement allowance . . . .”

Other folks who want to increase their monthly PERS/PEERS payments may also want to file a motion to amend the divorce judgment.

Kurt H. King, Law Office of Kurt H. King

816.781.6000; 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Missouri 64068;

Family Law, Business and Injury Litigation, Employment Discrimination/Retaliation; General Matters

Repossession and Commercially Reasonable Sale

It is not enough in Missouri to simply say in your petition to the Court that the sale of repossessed property was “commercially reasonable.” To survive a motion to dismiss, the petition must include facts that show the sale was in fact conducted through a commercially reasonable process. Language stating the method, manner, time, place, and terms must be in the petition. For example, a solid petition describes how the repossessed property was advertised and placed for sale–Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, consigned to a business that sells those items, etc.–whether and how bids were solicited and accepted, the time and place of sale.

Without these facts stated in the petition, the Court could–and should–dismiss the repossessing creditor’s petition for failure to state a cause of action upon which relief may be granted. That was the ruling of Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals in Ford Motor Credit Company v. UpDegraff, 218 S.W.3d 617, 623 ( Mo. Ct. App. 2007, an appellate decision followed recently in a case handled by this writer.

In the UpDegraff case, filed in the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri, the Court of Appeals dismissed Ford Motor Credit Company’s (“Ford”) case for lack of jurisdiction because Ford failed to sufficiently plead facts regarding commercial reasonableness of its sale of the vehicle repossessed from Ms. UpDegraff. 

Ford’s attempt to remedy its deficient petition by putting a dealer account manager on the stand who testified as to the details of the sale of the Ford Focus was rejected by the higher court on appeal as beyond the scope of the pleadings (an objection made during trial in Clay C:ounty) which failed to adequately state facts as to how the vehicle was sold by Ford Motor Credit. 

In essence, by failing to plead the “method, manner, time, place, and other terms” of the its sale of collateral, Ford failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.  As no claim was stated, Ford made no case and the Western District dismissed the appeal, remanding with instructions that the Clay County trial judge dismiss the case in full.

So, be thorough and plead the necessary facts if you are the creditor, as the debtor in default may well defeat the case for a deficiency judgment by filing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

Kurt H. King, Law Office of Kurt H. King

816.781.6000, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Missouri 64068;

Debtor/Creditor representation, Personal Injury, Workers Compensation, Business Litigation, Employment Discrimination/Retaliation representation, General Matters

July 18, 2017

Bonuses Paid During Marriage based on Pre-marital Work

If, for example, you or your client earned a 2015 profit-sharing bonus  that Ford paid in April 2016, after a marriage earlier in 2016–i.e., after the bonus year but before receipt of the bonus–take comfort in this Missouri case, Sanders v. Sanders,  933 S.W.2d 898 (Mo. Ct. App. E.D. 1996).

The Sanders case applies Missouri’s “source of the funds” rule, and holds that bonuses resulting from pre-marital labor or contributions are non-marital property of the spouse whose labor or contributions warranted the bonus.

Kurt H. King, Attorney at Law

20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068


Family Law, Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Litigation, General Matters


June 12, 2014


Filed under: Divorce,Family Law,Paternity,Support — kurthking @ 8:41 pm
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Missouri recognizes at least two exceptions to the general rule that a husband is not bound to support illegitimate children born to his wife before or during the marriage.  Those exceptions are: 1)  express contract; and, 2) equitable estoppel.

Several Missouri appellate court opinions address issues as to whether the facts of a particular case merit application of one or both of those exceptions.  Thus far, only one Missouri case so holds, that being the early case of L . . . v. L . . ., 497 S.W.2d 840 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 1973), where husband expressly contracted to support the child to be born as consideration for wife’s agreement to marry him.

Cases ruling against the proponent of such an exception include: White v. White, 293 S.W.3d 1 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 2009) (same sex partners; failure to plead and prove the elements of express contract or equitable estoppel); Jefferson v. Jefferson, 137 S.W.3d 510 (Mo. Ct. App. E.D. 2004) (Missouri has not adopted the “equitable parent” doctrine; wife misrepresented to husband that he was father of child); Stein v. Stein, 831 S.W.2d 684 (Mo. Ct. App. E.D. 1992) (divorce filed before adoption final; wife, with a profession and independent financial means, adopted on her own, husband having withdrawn from the adoption; husband’s representations that he would support child were made to adoption and immigration officials, not wife, so no express contract; no equitable adoption because no detrimental reliance and no injustice to wife or child); S.E.M. v. D.M.M., 664 S.W.2d 665 (Mo. Ct. App. E.D. 1984) (wife became pregnant while separated from husband, then reconciled, husband treated child as his own until final separation when child was approximately eight months old; wife’s agreement to reconcile not sufficient consideration for an express contract that husband support the child; no detrimental reliance for equitable estoppel).

Step-parents beware.


Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068


Family Law–Divorce, Modifications, Child Custody/Support/Visitation, Paternity, Guardianship

Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Debtors

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