Publications

Our firm culture is one of excellence and leadership in family and divorce law. Listed below are a number of scholarly articles written by attorneys in our firm for legal publications and for continuing legal education programs presented to other lawyers. Each of the articles is copyrighted by the author(s). Accordingly, any re-printing or re-publication of these materials without the express written permission of the author(s) is prohibited.

2017 Family Law Update: Cases and Statutes

An update on Missouri appellate domestic relations cases over the past year, presented to domestic relations attorneys in a continuing legal education seminar.

Domestic Tort Claims in the Context of Divorce: Key Threshold Issues

With the partial or wholesale elimination of the doctrine of interspousal tort immunity in most states, divorce attorneys must now consider, in every divorce case, whether a tort claim exists and how to deal with it.

Joinder of Third Parties to Allocate Property Interests in Divorce Cases

Division of property issues raised in complex divorce cases may not always be contained within the theatre of battle inhabited by the adverse spouses alone. In these cases, the interests of non-parties, individuals or entities, may be affected, sometimes significantly, by the outcome of the divorce litigation.

Five Things to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is an unfortunate reality experienced by half of all families. The chances of proceeding in a respectful and amicable manner increase depending upon your choice of representation. Zerman Mogerman LLC suggests considering these five things before hiring a divorce attorney.

Discovery and Treatment of Hidden Assets in Divorce Cases

From time to time, we have all been charged by our clients to "Find the money!" Some use the very phrase quoted; others are less direct. In any event, finding the money is our responsibility in every case.

Presenting and Defending the Maintenance Case

Maintenance for a dependent spouse is one of the core issues in a dissolution of marriage case. Its importance is magnified in cases where there are minimal assets to be divided between the parties. The negotiation of a satisfactory maintenance agreement requires that the practitioner have knowledge and familiarity with the Internal Revenue Code, the Bankruptcy Code, and the state statutory and case law on maintenance.

Valuing Small Businesses and Professional Practices in Divorce

The valuation of a business or professional practice is a critical element in many divorce cases. Despite the existence and widespread acceptance of many valuation methods, some or all of the most common of these may be inapplicable to a divorce case. It is important to understand and appreciate that valuation for divorce is unique, especially regarding professional practices.

The Impact of Rule 1.17: Valuing Law Practices in Divorce and Other Contexts

The valuation of a law practice has its own unique aspects which set these valuations apart from the valuation of other professional practices.

IRC Section 72(t): A Method for Providing Penalty-Free Access to Retirement Funds Prior to Age 59 ½

Internal Revenue Code §72(t) provides taxpayers a way to withdraw retirement account funds, without penalty, prior to attaining age 59½. The rule applies to IRA accounts, as well as to qualified retirement plans.

Settlement and Trial of Divorce Cases

Deciding when to settle and when to try the divorce case involves a number of considerations. A miscalculation could significantly affect the result for the client.

Wiretapping and Divorce: A Survey and Analysis of the Federal and State Laws Relating to Electronic Eavesdropping and their Application in Divorce Cases

The application of federal and state laws to incidents of wiretapping in family circumstances has been the source of ongoing legal debate in the case law as well as the scholarly journals of the legal profession. However, a clear nationwide trend is emerging toward applying these laws in the domestic context. This article will analyze the federal statute in its present form including the most useful interpretations by the different federal circuits, based upon its legislative history.

Current Developments in Missouri Child Custody Law

Presented at a seminar for attorneys and mental health professionals.

Allocation of Debt in Dissolution of Marriage Cases

This paper was presented to the Missouri Associate Circuit Judges Association, and deals with the history and present practice of debt allocation in divorce cases. Senate Bill 910, 89th Gen. Assembly, 2d Reg. Sess. (1998), provided for the mandatory allocation of marital debt as part of the dissolution decree. The bill became effective August 28, 1998.

Ethics as Related to Tax Consequences in Divorce

There is no specific provision in the Missouri Dissolution of Marriage Statute requiring the divorce court to consider the tax implications of the division of property or the award of maintenance at divorce. Nevertheless, §452.330 RSMo states the court should divide the marital property in such proportions as the court deems just after considering "all relevant factors." The case law is quite clear to the effect that tax consequences are "relevant factors".

The Law of Domestic Torts in Missouri

"Domestic torts" are those torts arisingspecifically within the context of the family relationship between spouses, or children and their parents.

Marital Torts in Divorce: The Case for Mandatory Joinder

Must the existing tort claim be joined within the context of the pending divorce? And who says you can sue your spouse in tort, anyway?

Trial of Domestic Tort Matters Under the Family Court Act

The passage of House Bill 346 ("The Family Court Act") sheds little light upon the subject of the trial of domestic tort actions which have been consolidated with a divorce case. Assuming joinder has already occurred, the question in the past has been "How is the tort action to be tried? And when?"

Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (“QMCSO”): Federal Protection for the Health of Children of Divorce

A QMCSO, in effect, mandates continued medical coverage for dependent children under a parent's health insurance plan. Indeed, once a medical order qualifies as a QMCSO, all named alternative recipient children are to be treated as beneficiaries under a plan.

Missouri Family Law: Chapter 5 - Characterization and Division of Property in Divorce

This chapter summarizes the existing law on division of property at divorce. It also attempts to identify some particularly complicated but common circumstances and guide the practitioner through them. Finally, this chapter provides some practical suggestions on how to present evidence on property issues to the court in a manner intended to capture the court's attention and reduce the message to its most concise, effective form.

Missouri Family Law: Chapter 26 - Conflicts Of Law

Interstate litigation problems arise regularly in the area of family law as a result of both the ever increasing frequency of divorce and the increased mobility of today’s society. The simple, uncontested dissolution action where both the parties and their property are present in Missouri is unusual.

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