Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Child Custody Change Probably Means Return to Court

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Child Custody Change Probably Means Return to Court

Article excerpt

Q: I was awarded custody of my 5-year-old daughter four years ago. No child support was awarded from the mother at that time.

How would I go about having the custody order changed now to include child-support payments? About how much would this cost?

A: The exact steps would depend on several facts that are not in your letter. You don't make it clear whether you were married to the child's mother so that the operative court order would be your decree of dissolution of the marriage. If you were never married to the child's mother, the operative order may be the order of custody. You may or may not be receiving government benefits to help support your child. Your letter didn't explain why no provision for support was made in the original order. All of those factors and others could affect how you would go about seeking support from the child's mother. However, in general, you probably would have to go to court and ask that whatever kind of order is in effect be modified to provide for support payments. Your request, which would be cast as a motion, would have to be served on the mother, who would have to be given a chance to respond. If she disagreed with your position, then a court would have to decide. You might have to engage in a process called discovery to determine the mother's ability to pay support. Probably you would want to talk with the lawyer who helped you get the original order or with another lawyer of your choosing. I wouldn't suggest attempting this without a lawyer because there are too many potential problems. As for cost, that would vary from one lawyer to another. A lot would depend on factors such as how complicated the case turns out to be, how much time will be needed and how many times the lawyer will have to go to court. ***** Q: I have fallen behind on my payments on some furniture I bought. I'm trying to work it out with the finance company, which is giving me a hard time, even threatening to come to my home and take the furniture back. Can that be done without first giving me some notice? A: Your situation probably is covered by a Missouri notice that gives you a right to notice of default. …

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