Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union. It involves cancelling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties.
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Divorce modifications are when the order that was created when the divorce was finalized, needs to be changed or modified. Throughout a divorce, the court will divide money, assets, consider maintenance, and resolve issues of child custody and child support. All of these things are decided before the divorce is finalized, and then written in a final order. Since circumstances can often change, people may file for a divorce modification to address changes involving child custody, child support and, sometimes, maintenance. Paternity judgments are entered when two unmarried people have to resolve child custody and child support issues of their children. Again, if circumstances change, the parents can seek a modification of the paternity judgment to address the change in circumstances to meet the needs of the children.
Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place.
Legal separation is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is granted in the form of a court order.
Division of property is a judicial division of property rights and obligations between spouses during divorce. It may be accomplished by agreement of the parties, through a marital settlement agreement, or by a judicial decree.
Maintenance (or alimony)
Maintenance (what we used to call alimony) is a legal obligation of a spouse, or former spouse, to provide financial support to his/her current or former spouse, either before or after separation or divorce.
Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody and visitation are legal terms which are used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his/her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child and establishes the level of contact a parent may have with his/her child.
Child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. Child support is paid directly or indirectly by a parent for the care and support of children of a relationship.
Parental testing is the use of genetic testing to determine whether two individuals have a biological parent–child relationship.
A legal guardian is a person who has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward. Usually, a person has the status of guardian because the ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes a parental status for another person and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the biological parent or parents to the adoptive parent or parents. Unlike guardianship, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status.
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person designates one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of property at death.
A traffic ticket is a notice issued by a law-enforcement official to a motorist or other road user, accusing violation of traffic laws. Traffic tickets generally come in two forms, citing a moving violation, such as exceeding the speed limit, or a non-moving violation, such as a parking violation, with the ticket also being referred to as a parking citation, notice of illegal parking or parking ticket.
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CMH tries to provide an accurate, organized, and up-to-date FAQ page to answer basic questions on family law issues and other law related topics in Missouri. This website and FAQ’s are to be used for information only. They are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. If you need legal advice and/or a consultation, please contact Christine Miller Hendrix to schedule your no obligation consultation.