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Domestic Relations : Child Support Modification – Emancipation – Retroactivity

Stephanie Maniscalco//September 29, 2015

Domestic Relations : Child Support Modification – Emancipation – Retroactivity

Stephanie Maniscalco//September 29, 2015

(1)Where a father argued that a child was emancipated for purposes of child support because he was only enrolled in nine hours on October 1 of the school year, the language of the statute required that the child be enrolled by that date, but not that he or she be enrolled in 12 credit hours by that date, and the child was enrolled in the required 12 hours three days later, so the child remained eligible for continued support, and the child’s failure to pass two classes did not result in emancipation as a matter of law.

(2)Even though a child failed to provide official documentation of his school semester to his father, termination of child support is not required but may be ordered, so the trial court did not err in abating, rather than terminating, support.

(3)Where in child support modification proceedings the mother filed her cross-motion to modify on July 15, 2013 and mother was the prevailing party, the trial court could only order child support retroactive to that date, so the portion of the judgment awarding support retroactive to June 1, 2013 is reversed and remanded.

(4)Where a father challenged a trial court’s refusal to order child support payments to be made directly to the child, the court was free to accept the mother’s testimony that the child lived with her full-time and was poor at managing money over the father’s testimony that he wanted to teach the child money management skills, so the point is denied.

(5)Where a father argued that a trial court erred in failing to give him credit for payments he made for a child’s health and car insurance, cell phone and other payments directly to the child, the judgment is affirmed because the father did not show that the mother abandoned the child, that she agreed to a change in custody or that she assented to the non-conforming payments in lieu of support.

Judgment is reversed and remanded in part; affirmed in part.

Klein v. Klein (MLW No. 68352/Case No. WD78026 – 14 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, Hardwick, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Clay County, Davis, J. (Marilyn M. Shapiro, Kansas City, Missouri, for appellant) (Allen S. Russell, Kansas City, Missouri, for respondent).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)

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