Questions Answered by Kristen Thurmond

Q: If I get a divorce and my spouse and I own a business together, what happens? Even if I am only 30% owner and he was

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 9, 2019
Kristen Thurmond's answer
When spouses own a business, one of two things happens once a business evaluation is done: one spouse buys out the other spouse or the business is dissolved and each spouse paid their portion. Maintenance (formerly known as alimony) may be an option but depends on the assets of the parties and other factors. You'll want to contact an attorney near you to discuss your options in more detail.

Q: My ex has sole custody of our kids. I'm paying CS but found out the kids don't live w/ him now? Options?

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 8, 2019
Kristen Thurmond's answer
If you're struggling to hire an attorney try to find an attorney that may be able to help you on a limited scope basis, such as preparing paperwork to file. With the children turning 18 in June, the options are different than children about to turn 8. At the very least talk with an attorney who works in the county that issued the original order to figure out your options.

Q: Can my fiance adopt my five year old daughter?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Kristen Thurmond's answer
Talk to an attorney about step-parent adoptions. There are lots of procedural hurdles and hoops, so having an attorney is going to be the easiest way to accomplish an adoption.

Q: Father willingly wanting to terminate rights?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Kristen Thurmond's answer
Contact an attorney to help you or look at the self representation forms on the Missouri courts website. A father cannot terminate his rights unless another individual is going to step in to take his place. He can agree to no custody and you can agree to no child support. However, it is in your child's best interests to receive support from both parents if they're physically able to contribute. That said, every situation is unique. Talk with an attorney in your area.

Q: Ex-wife, primary care parent, asked me to keep son "for a few months" while she goes to rehab. Grounds for full custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Kristen Thurmond's answer
You need to get an attorney immediately. The sooner you file, the sooner your child support obligations will stop or be retroactively stopped and the sooner you can get a new custody arrangement ordered by the court. Drug use is a very serious problem that judges will consider greatly when determining custody.

Q: Can someone file for Guardianship in a different county than where the original custody order was ordered in MO?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Kristen Thurmond's answer
Yes, someone can file a new case in the county where all the individuals, including the children, reside. It does not necessarily mean they will prevail, though. The issue of can the county take up a guardianship case when there's a pending motion to modify is an issue for the court to determine. However, you will want to make sure you consult with an attorney to make the best procedural arguments possible.

Q: There is a dog in an abandoned house. Can I bring it food and water until animal control gets a warrant?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
While this answer is a bit late, I still wanted to respond so if anyone else has a similar question they can find an answer.

Your best bet is to call an animal welfare group or animal control before entering property that is not yours, even if you believe it to be abandoned. You could be charged with trespassing or get injured. If the dog is simply outside and you can easily and safely provide food and water, you physically can do so but it is at your own risk of injury and criminal...

Q: My sons mother and teacher are withholding educational information from me regarding my son, i have full rights to.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Dec 17, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
One solution to the school issue is to call the school and ask about how to receive information directly from them as a parent who lives out of town. Most schools have online portals to view grades, correspondence, attendance, etc. At the very least, make sure you're receiving letters, notices, etc. by mail or email. It may mean you have to take a trip to the school with your judgment and ID card before you can speak to anyone, though.

As for other issues, it sounds like you need to...

Q: What form to file if custodial parent leaves the state without notifying co-parent with no child care arrangements made?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
This is going to depend on whether or not you have a court ordered parenting plan. If you do, immediately to file a motion to modify the judgment or prevent relocation of the child. If you do not, you need to file a petition to establish such a parenting plan. You will want an attorney to help you. These motions may be done pro se (try looking through the Missouri Courts website), but there's a lot of procedural and statutory requirements to them. Whatever, you need to make sure this is done as...

Q: We found a stray dog that was skin and bones. Posted it online, etc. Took to vet had scanned and all. It's been 2 weeks.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Nov 6, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
This is not really addressed well in the law and there is not a definitive answer for you. However, please consider that not everyone actively uses social media, the dog may have been stolen and released, or the person may have looked for the dog and given up hope. I have met numerous people who lost their pet and despite their best efforts found their pet years later. If the dog was trying to survive on its own when it's never had to before, of course it will be emaciated. Please consider what...

Q: I am looking for Missouri State laws or documents that state jurisdiction of officers for counties.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
This is going to be very fact and location dependent. You will want to talk with local counsel who knows the local laws and rules to best understand the situation you experienced.

Q: Do all child molestation charges get you life in prison? Even if one isolated event and no priors?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
The criminal code indicates a range of punishment for different classes of misdemeanors and felonies. In order to figure out the maximum and minimum jail time or penalties, you will need to look at the criminal code or talk to an attorney who can look into it for you based on what you are being charged with.

Q: My kids found a dog that has had no food or water in days he's all skin and bones and he has sores all over him

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
This is a late response, but the answer is that only police or animal control can take the dog. They are granted authority by the city, county, or state to do so. You should report severely malnourished or emaciated pets any time you see them.

Q: Can my neighbor trap and poison my cat?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
This would be considered abuse by almost any city ordinance more than likely and it probably violates a state statute, as well. If it happens or you see the trap out with poison, contact local police or animal control to make a report.

Q: Denied access to children for six months, do I need to pay child support for missed time? (In Missouri)

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
If child support was ordered during the time you were denied access, then you must pay child support. Child support and parenting time are dealt with separately by courts. The reason why you were denied time may impact future time with your children. You need to find a local attorney to help you, even if it's just a paid consult to get you moving in the right direction.

Q: Does a paying parent (father) in Missouri have a duty to inform the state, court or the other party of a pay increase?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
Without scouring through the statutes, there is nothing I can quickly recall that requires a parent to inform the other of increases in pay. However, in practice, there does seem to be an implied obligation based on the statutes that both parents should report changes in income in regards to child support. That said, you need to get an attorney to help you make the right arguments to the court so as to not be the unreasonable, less credible parent.

Q: Can I leave Missouri after having my child here without being married but father on birth certificate?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
Based on what you have stated, it seems like you have no obligation to stay in your current state. However, attempting to prevent the father from having a relationship with his child can cause problems for you. Once the child is born, father has every right file a paternity action to establish custody and parenting time and a judge may order the child to return to father's state with or without you.

Q: Hi, me and my boyfriend have had a dog for a year now and are being forced to rehome her in a few days. It that legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
This is going to be dependent on what is in your lease. You will need to talk with a local attorney who does landlord and tenant disputes.

Q: How can you pay child support when it hasn't been ordered yet so as to keep it from accumulating and can it accumulate?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 24, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
Without knowing your specific situation, in most cases child support can accumulate when an order is pending. This is what the legal system refers to as retroactive child support. If you want to pay support in the interim to reduce the amount of arrears that will accrue from the retroactive support, always make sure it's by check or money order with the description line saying "child support" and keep a copy. You will need to show it to the family support division or judge to get a credit. You...

Q: Friend gave me a pup from her dogs litter and now wants him back and is claiming I Stole the pup. What do I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 21, 2018
Kristen Thurmond's answer
If you feel there is abuse or neglect, please call animal control to investigate. For the remainder of your question, that is going to be very fact specific based on what you and your friend have said to each other and what agreement you had. You would need to schedule a consultation with an attorney to figure out the best course of action for you.

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