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When can a child decide where to live?

There is nothing in Missouri law that allows the minor child in a divorce or child custody case to decide where to live.  A child can express his or her wishes as to where he or she wants to live which happens at a divorce or child custody trial. But the children’s wishes are just…

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Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?

Do I need a divorce lawyer? The answer is yes, you want a divorce lawyer to represent you in a divorce. Why? Divorce law is complicated. Even people who have “easy” divorces benefit from having a divorce lawyer. Divorce can involve houses, land, cars, trucks, boats, houses, land, pensions, and retirement accounts. It’s not enough…

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What is a Criminal Lawyer?

A criminal lawyer focuses on defending those who have been charged with criminal activity. Criminal activity occurs when a law is broken, and the government takes steps toward enforcing those laws. A criminal defense lawyer defends an individual against allegations of criminal conduct. What kinds of cases does a criminal lawyer take on? The types…

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How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?

The cost of a divorce lawyer varies greatly depending on your unique situation. Divorce can be very complex because of varying emotions and opinions about how things should be accomplished. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you navigate these complexities, and we’ll through how you much you can expect to pay for a good divorce…

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Search Warrant Requirement

Search Warrants Law enforcement can often conduct searches without a search warrant because there are exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s search warrant requirement, like holes in swiss cheese.  Some of the exceptions to the search warrant requirement include situations where a person consents to a search, or the automobile exception where a motor vehicle is…

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Divorce: Third-Party Child Custody

Third-Party Child Custody in Missouri The Missouri Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Bowers v. Bowers, No. SC965435, upholding a trial’s court decision to award child custody to a person in a divorce who was not the biological parent of the child. This type of child custody award is called third-party child custody. Missouri…

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Adoption: Abandonment Includes Lack of Meaningful Contact

The Missouri Supreme Court issued an opinion this week affirming a decision by a circuit court terminating a father’s parental rights and granting a step-parent adoption. S.S.S., L.W.V. & M.T.S-V vs. C.V.S., SC96307. The Court found that father abandoned and neglected his child. The Court’s opinion was not unanimous. The opinion appears to depart from…

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Child Custody Law Change in Missouri

Earlier this month, Governor Nixon signed House Bill 1550 into law which provides for changes that will affect child custody related to divorce, legal separation, paternity and Judgments. This law had been referred to by some people as a “Father’s Rights’ Bill.” The law does not expressly afford fathers any more rights than mothers, but…

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Adoption and Abandonment

I recently spoke at a continuing legal education seminar sponsored by the Missouri Bar on the subject of adoptions. Adoptions are yet another mechanism of establishing custody for children, even though many people do not think of adoptions as child custody cases. There were numerous issues discussed regarding adoptions given that the audience was lawyers. This…

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Divorce & Child Custody Settlement: Saving Money

Clients have asked over the years what they can do to save money in their divorce or child custody cases. I always have suggestions. I am sharing my most common suggestion – which also happens to be common sense. The largest expense a client incurs in a divorce and/or child custody case is the attorney…

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