101 South Hanley, Suite 1280 Clayton, MO 63105
314.283.8930; henry@elsterlaw.com

Grandparent’s Visitation Rights

Most are familiar with the statutory and constitutional dimensions present in a parent’s rights to rear his or her child. However, in certain circumstances, a Missouri Court is permitted to enter an order allowing a grandparent reasonable visitation rights. RSMo 452.402 articulates when such an order is appropriate: (1) The parents of the child have […]

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How is Child Support Determined?

Child support is very easy to calculate once child custody is set. Generally speaking, the more physical custody you have the more you can be entitled to in child support; likewise, less physical custody will often result in less child support. It is also important to dispel the misconception and stereotype that the husband only […]

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Letters of Guardianship and Conservatorship

The probate courts’ jurisdiction extends beyond simply overseeing the transfer of assets from one generation to the next. One of the more important functions of the probate courts is to grant Letters of Guardianship or Conservatorship to minors or individuals adjudged to be incapacitated. Guardianship refers to the personal care of an individual that usually […]

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Child Visitation Rights

A parent not granted custody of a child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights — unless the Court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would endanger the child’s physical health or impair his or her emotional development. RSMo 452.400(1). As I’ve said previously, it isĀ  the public policy of the State of Missouri for children […]

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Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a couple before they are married which provides how property, Maintenance (Alimony), debts, etc. are to be handled should the couple divorce. Generally, the prenuptial agreement is not terribly lengthy, nor is it detailed. However, there are certain situations when it can become fairly long if […]

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Divorce Versus Annulment

Every so often I get asked about the distinction between a dissolution of marriage and annulment in Missouri. The distinction lies in the fact that a divorce ends a valid, pre-existing marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, declares that the supposed marriage between two parties never existed — that is it was void ab […]

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Paternity

A pre-requisite to an order of child support or child custody is that a parent-child relationship exists. Under Missouri Statute 210.819, a parent child-relationship is established in one of three ways. One of the more common ways it is established is through paternity proceedings. Missouri Statutes set up a scheme whereby there is either a […]

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Separate Maintenance (Alimony)

In Missouri proceedings for legal separation or dissolution of marriage, the court may grant a “maintenance” order to either spouse upon petition/request. Maintenance is periodic payments from one spouse to the other spouse after they have split. It is called maintenance because the goal of the payments or compensation is to maintain the financial status […]

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Child Custody

Physical custody refers to which spouse is physically with a child (who has “possession”). Legal custody refers to which spouse has the decision-making authority over the children (e.g., what school they attend, health insurance, extracurricular activities, etc.) In a dissolution of marriage proceeding involving children, it is not easy for one parent to attain sole […]

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Marital Debt in a Divorce

A court is required to make a fair, reasonable and equitable split of marital property in a divorce. Few people realize that “debt” is a type of property. In fact, section 452.330, RSMo, directly addresses the issue: “In a proceeding for dissolution of the marriage or legal separation […] the court shall set apart to […]

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