Questions Answered by Jennifer L. Rench

Q: If I am reading this right, when I child turns 18 support will stop until they go to college?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Feb 12, 2019
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
If I understand, you are trying to determine when child support stops if your child continues on to college. The timing of events is really crucial to give an accurate answer, but if the scenario is that your child graduates high school or completes a GED program, turns 18 but will be going on to college, then your child has until October 1st following graduation to enroll in at least 12 hours of credit for each college semester. Turning 18 won't by itself terminate child support in that...

Q: I am needing help with getting my divorce papers started.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Missouri on
Answered on Oct 28, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Teresa,

In order for an attorney to help you, the attorney will need to talk with you, gather some information from you and learn exactly what you are needing to accomplish. Your best bet is to pay an attorney for a couple hours of his or her time to meet with you and answer your questions.

If you are in the St. Louis area, feel free to contact me.

Q: Trying to get divorced, but neither of us has filed taxes for several years. Can we estimate debt on the forms?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Tax Law for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 7, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
One way to go about this would be to talk to a CPA about filing for the years you missed before you divorce. You may owe or you may be due a refund, but it could be easier to figure out how that should be handled with more information. Good luck!

Q: In my divorce case I wasn't given credit for overnight visitation on Form 14.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Sep 7, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
There are situations in which the overnight visitation credit may be rebutted or not given. For example, the overnight visitation credit will not be allowed (with certain exceptions) unless the adjusted monthly gross income of the parent receiving support exceeds a minimum set amount of income. Also the line 11 credit can be lowered if the parent paying support doesn't actually exercise the overnight visitation or custody or doesn't incur significant expenses as a result of exercising the...

Q: If 2 people have joint custody and 1 parent (pays support)gets higher paid job do they have to pay more in child support

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Aug 8, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
In Missouri, a court would determine the presumed amount of child support by entering information on a Form 14 worksheet. There is information missing from your question that would be needed in order to determine the amount of child support.

For example, in some situations the child support calculation allows the payer to take a credit to lower child support based on the number of overnights the payer exercises with the child. Joint custody doesn't describe the number of overnights one...

Q: I am a Missouri resident needing a divorce but need to move right away to Oklahoma.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Missouri on
Answered on Aug 2, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Residency is a factor in where you file your divorce, but a person doesn't forfeit marital property just by moving out of the marital home. In Missouri the court will set apart to each spouse such spouse's nonmarital property and will divide the marital property and marital debts equitably. More information would be needed about the 401(k) to determine if any part of it is marital property and if it is then we would look at the overall marital property picture to see how the marital property...

Q: What does it mean for a child to primarily reside in each parents custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Missouri on
Answered on May 10, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
This is not as easy of a question to answer as it sounds. The Form 14 is one page, however there a is a 40-page document that accompanies this form titled "DIRECTIONS, COMMENTS FOR USE AND EXAMPLES FOR COMPLETION OF FORM NO. 14". There are also relevant cases in Missouri that specifically talks about the application of a credit on Line 2c.

To give you some direction, the excerpt that guides us regarding the Line 2c credit are as follows:

Line 2c: Adjustment to gross income for...

Q: will I have to pay child support if my ex and I both agree on me signing over full custody to her? We live in Missouri.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on May 9, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Unless another person is stepping up to adopt your child, the courts will not generally allow you to terminate your parental rights to evade child support.

Q: My daughter is almost 18. should I wait to get a divorce until then? No custody issues that way.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on May 9, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
You could if there aren't any other compelling reasons for you to file immediately. The other issue to consider is that if your daughter is or will be attending college or other secondary school program full time then child support is still an issue.

Q: When I look up my child support payments, it shows to payments have recently been made, however I have not received them

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Mar 20, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Child support payments can be applied to current child support (owed this month) or back child support (arrears owed from payments past due). If you are the parent receiving child support these payments should be distributed to you regardless of whether it was applied to current support or back support.

Q: My sons father hasn't contacted me in almost a year about our son. Can I file for abandonment?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 31, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
There isn't a cause of action called abandonment, but abandoning a child can be part of a claim form some specific relief. It seems like more information is needed.

What are you trying to accomplish? Getting child support from your son's father? Having another person adopt your child? If he isn't on the birth certificate and hasn't otherwise been found by a court or the state to be the father of this child, then he doesn't have rights as the legal father. What is it you are seeking to...

Q: What is considered Community Property given this information. Please include tax law and any legal code in your answer.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 29, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
I see that nobody has answered your question, but I am going to attempt to give you some information.

I am not entirely sure from the question what your mean when you say "community property", but Missouri isn't what is legally known to be a community property state so we don't use those terms here.

In Missouri, the court characterizes the property as either marital or separate (or sometime a part of a piece of property can be separate and the rest marital), then the property is...

Q: Uncontested divorce with another child.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 29, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Missouri law says husband is the presumed father, so around here the courts require you to file a separate paternity case to determine that there is not a father-child relationship between husband and child. I highly suggest you consult with an attorney.

Q: Can child support be stopped if a 17 year old Junior has dropped out of high school and is employed full time

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 29, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Under Missouri law, one of the ways child support can terminate is when a child becomes self-supporting, provided that the custodial parent has relinquished the child from parental control by express or implied consent. A lawyer could review your specific facts to help you figure this out.

Another way child support will terminate is when the child turns 18 years old, unless they are still enrolled in school.

Q: My daughter's father says he will not let her move out of state with me to pursue my Master's degree. What can I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 18, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
The answer is complicated and very fact driven. Missouri laws address the relocation of a child, but it discusses your obligations as the proposed moving parent in terms of giving notice to "any party with custody or visitation rights." Since your question referred to "unordered child support" I assume that Father's custody rights have not been adjudicated either. That is going to be a problem for him when he tries to prevent a move, but of course it doesn't prevent him from now filing suit in...

Q: 1 month long marriage. Now she's fighting for child support

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Support for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 12, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Only a legal father has an obligation to pay child support. Under the laws of Missouri, since the child was born prior to the marriage and you are not on the birth certificate (and I assume you have not been found to be the biological father of this child), you are not the presumed father or the legal father. If it is possible that you are the father of this child because you and her were in a relationship when the child was conceived, she can name you in a paternity suit to determine the...

Q: Can I sell my ex’s house in Missouri if it is in his name? We are divorced and both pay half the utilities and morgage.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 12, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
Your rights to the real estate and any obligations you may have to pay utilities and the mortgage should have been determined in your divorce Judgment. Generally, you cannot sell property that is not in your name. However, you may have been granted rights to have a say in the sale of the real estate if that was contemplated during your divorce. It is unclear from your question whether or not your name is on the mortgage because you only stated that your ex husband's name was on the house...

Q: Preparing to Separate. Married 38 years. Primary breadwinner. Husband retired military, chooses not to work.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Missouri on
Answered on Jan 12, 2018
Jennifer L. Rench's answer
This issues in a divorce and legal separation can be categorized into assets, debts, maintenance (or alimony) if it applies, and child support and custody if you have minor children. There is a good way to approach resolving these issues, and there are not so good ways. Litigation can be very expensive and pits spouses against each other. Many times the best way to proceed is to seek out a divorce attorney that also offers out-of-court dispute resolution alternatives that are lower in conflict...

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