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Child Custody & Visitation
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Last week’s column outlined what to do if your ex doesn’t return your children at the time identified in your court order. In many cases, these delays are neither intentional nor malicious, but the product of poor time management. However, some ex mates remain angry long after the divorce, venting their displeasure at every opportunity, and the weekly hand off is an easy venue for making your life miserable.
It’s 9:00 PM Sunday and your two girls were due back from their weekend with your ex three hours earlier. You’ve called and your former spouse says he she will bring them back when he she is good and ready. You ask when that might be and the reply is maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe never. What should you do?
Last week, I related the story of Dave who learned during his divorce that the 10 year old girl he had helped raise was not his daughter, but the product of his wife’s extramarital affair. Not being the father, Dave was cutoff from his little girl with no provisions for custody or visitation in the final divorce decree.
At least one spouse must be a resident of Missouri for 90 days before filing for a Missouri divorce. The responding spouse has 20 days to reply to the petition, and at least 30 days must pass between the filing of the petition and the judge's signing of the divorce decree granting the divorce. This 30-day waiting period makes sure couples have a chance to reconcile if possible.
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