Missouri Motion to Modify

Parental Alienation Syndrome, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby bradthebard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:07 am

My marriage ended a year ago. At the time it appeared to be relatively amicable (hindsight being what it is there is no such thing...) I have two kids, D9 and D12.

I self represented and, because I planned to sell the house and try to start over I made the terrible mistake of accepting EOW. To further stupid up my case, I failed to include the modifyer for time spend with me in the support calculations so I have been paying as if I had no custody or < parenting time > rights (we have joint physical and legal custody).

Fast forward to this year. The market being what it is, I was stuck with the house. I have a decent job but I slowly slid in the hole (I took on most of the debt, I later read up on it and found that many times the initiator of a divorce does stupid things like that out of misplaced guilt). The ex found a new feller and announced her decision to move an hour and a half away with the kids. Now since Feb or so, I have been keeping the kids 50/50, every other week, at their request and to my delight. At risk of seeming over dramatic, that six months of seeing my kids EOW was the darkest time of my life. My youngest came to me in March and very hesitantly told me that she did not want to move and wanted to come live with me so she could continue to go to the same school.

I have been very clear with the girls that I was going to fight for whatever they wanted, regardless of my own feelings (a sentiment that is not being mirrored on the other end, I must say) and after making my kids incredibly frustrated with me for continually asking them if they were sure this is what they wanted, I informed the ex of the conversation D9 had with me. It wasn't recieved well, however to cut to the chase, we came to some semblance of an agreement and I filed a motion to modify that updated the residential schedule as well as adjusted the child support to reflect the arrangement (at the time of filing we had been 50/50 for some months.

Even though we had talked about it and I told her that she would be geting the papers, when they arrived I recieved a response in the form of a parenting plan that reflected none of the kids wishes or our agreements and a motion to find me in contempt for a long list of nonsense. So far the parenting plan is on its third rendition, each version I have spoken to the ex about, showed it to her and she said it looked good and then it came back from her lawyer with some minute and silly change.

I say all that to ask this. I would like to settle this without a hearing, just sign the afidavit and be done with it. The ex claims she wants the same but it keeps dragging out. I get the feeling that she is just stretching it out to try and keep my money coming as long as she can (even though I am paying a significant amount of child support I am still having to purchase my kids clothes and shoes as they arrive at my house in rags that don't fit them and shoes with holes).

Can I push this to a hearing or am I stuck in this back and forth?

Oh, she also failed to give the required 90 day notice that she was moving....

the sleepless bard.
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby hoosier_dad » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:07 am

I'm a little confused on your details. Did your ex actually move or is she planning on moving? At the time of her move you were exercising 50/50 physical custody but then you mention having 6 months of only EOW custody, can you detail that out a little better. Your ex didn't give 90 days notice of her move, but did you file a motion promptly against the move or did you wait 6 months to file something?

Bottom line if your ex is moving an hour and half away then you need to pursue primary custody with your ex having EOW custody. 50/50 physical custody is not realistic with that distance and if you filed requesting that for the final physical custody arrangement you will lose. If I had to guess it sounds like your ex moved, you didn't file prompt objections, and her and her attorney are merely delaying the situation so they build up more status quo in the new location. But I'm guessing without more specific details.
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby Trevor » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:07 am

You're cutting it close for accomplishing this by the time school starts in the fall. You should reconsider hiring a lawyer to achieve your goal.
Dual Parenting, not Duel Parenting.
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby blueTexas » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:18 am

Given your poor track record on your own, you need a good lawyer on your side now.
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby bradthebard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:44 am

Ok, to clarify, 50/50 has been going since early in the year. Motion to modify was filed through an attorney in March. She moved last week, i got the notification June 18. I just want to hear some other opinions about how to move things faster.
We agreed to the arrangement but I wasnt going to try to do it on my ownafter screwing myself over as well as I did before. We both have attorneys but are still on speaking terms and discuss the plans with each other and the kids. The biggest problem is that she is very slow to get back to her own lawyer and not very good about giving her good info. Her lack of diligence is dragging it out.
We are already using the new parenting plan, the only thing that changes with the court docs is child support. The current arrangement establishes status quo but she has little incentive to finalize. She also just quit her job...
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby hoosier_dad » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:57 am

bradthebard wrote:Motion to modify was filed through an attorney in March.
So this was entirely unrelated to her move?

bradthebard wrote:She moved last week, i got the notification June 18.
You mention she is required to give you 90 days notice in your state. What are your specific requirements to object to her move? I doubt your motion to modify has any impact since it was prior to the move, so what have you done via the court to object to her move?

bradthebard wrote:We agreed to the arrangement but I wasnt going to try to do it on my ownafter screwing myself over as well as I did before.


You've agreed to a 50/50 arrangement 1.5 hours apart? That is a merely putting off your eventual EOW status once she is entrenched in her new location. Once the children are going to school in her new location how would a 50/50 parenting plan be feasible?


IMO your only course of action is to immediately object to the move as required in your state and motion for primary custody with the ex getting EOW status. Everything you've described is a short term benefit of 50/50 and reduced CS that will revert back to EOW and max CS very soon after.
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby bradthebard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:12 am

The motion to modify was because of the move but prrimarily because my youngest is going to live with me and go to the same school
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Re: Missouri Motion to Modify

Postby bradthebard » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:07 am

I was on my phone earlier. better clarification...
So this was entirely unrelated to her move?


Quite the contrary. It was a direct result. Prior to the move we lived in the same school district. This facilitated a 50/50 split easily enough. My kids actually told me that she was planning to move and a week or so later my youngest expressed the desire to move back in with me and not change schools. The ex and I, after a rather explosive initial reaction by her, discussed it and agreed to a residential schedule that allowed D9 to live with me during the school year, D12 to live with her and put the < parenting time > schedule such that the girls were together every weekend (essentially an offset EOW schedule between the two girls). I retained an attorney and filed the paperwork to that effect. In Missouri we could have changed the residential schedule with only a written agreement (joint custody) but the child support amounts would also change which required a court order.

While eventually I would likely have filed to modify the support to reflect the 50/50 split, I would not have been aware of the wrong calculation I made had I not retained an attorney this time around.

You mention she is required to give you 90 days notice in your state. What are your specific requirements to object to her move? I doubt your motion to modify has any impact since it was prior to the move, so what have you done via the court to object to her move?


The fact is I don't have any objection to her move, per se. I am a bit uncomfortable with the process being stretched out on something that was supposedly agreed upon before we ever started. The notice is a technicality. In MO, any party changing the residence of a child has to give the other party written notice via certified letter 90 days prior, with the noncustodial parent having 60 days to give a reason they oppose it (if they do in fact oppose it). As of yet I have done nothing as the only thing I actually take exception to is a procedural failure on her part. That said, I need to fill out the change of address and other such forms for my daughter's school. I want to get the thing moving and not have a silly back and forth ongoing.

You've agreed to a 50/50 arrangement 1.5 hours apart? That is a merely putting off your eventual EOW status once she is entrenched in her new location. Once the children are going to school in her new location how would a 50/50 parenting plan be feasible?


We have agreed to a schedule that is a 50/50 split through the summer and then D9 lives with me and D12 lives with her for the school year with an offset EOW < parenting time > for the noncustodial parent. This is the schedule that is reflected in the motion to modify. That aspect is not the part that is being bandied back and forth. It is trifling minutia that is being fussed about. For ex., the initial parenting plan I submitted had a certain vacation schedule arrangement written in. In her response she changed it to a different number of days each of us could block out per year. I agreed and left that in reponse I gave back. My attorney then informs me that they have come back and said they agree with pretty much everything except a few minor details. The papers get to me and the detail is that vacation arrangement. She has now reverted to the original wording in MY parenting plan but because it is a change, the process continues on. It is infuriating.

I think much of the issue is that the ex is not communicating with her own layer much. A good deal of the information in the initial response was wrong. The latest paperwork I sent over has not come back yet because she never made it to her lawyers office to sign the revised version with the vacation changes.

I am in conversation with my lawyer , I just like to hear a wide variety of input regarding it.
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