☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 452

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  452.370.  Modification of judgment as to maintenance or support, when — termination, when — rights of state when an assignment of support has been made — court to have continuing jurisdiction, duties of clerk, clerk to be "appropriate agent", when — severance of responsive pleading. — 1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6 of section 452.325, the provisions of any judgment respecting maintenance or support may be modified only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.  In a proceeding for modification of any child support or maintenance judgment, the court, in determining whether or not a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, shall consider all financial resources of both parties, including the extent to which the reasonable expenses of either party are, or should be, shared by a spouse or other person with whom he or she cohabits, and the earning capacity of a party who is not employed.  If the application of the child support guidelines and criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules to the financial circumstances of the parties would result in a change of child support from the existing amount by twenty percent or more, a prima facie showing has been made of a change of circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the present terms unreasonable, if the existing amount was based upon the presumed amount pursuant to the child support guidelines.

  2.  When the party seeking modification has met the burden of proof set forth in subsection 1 of this section, the child support shall be determined in conformity with criteria set forth in section 452.340 and applicable supreme court rules.

  3.  Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the judgment, the obligation to pay future statutory maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance.

  4.  Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the judgment, provisions for the support of a child are terminated by emancipation of the child.  The parent entitled to receive child support shall have the duty to notify the parent obligated to pay support of the child's emancipation and failing to do so, the parent entitled to receive child support shall be liable to the parent obligated to pay support for child support paid following emancipation of a minor child, plus interest.

  5.  If a parent has made an assignment of support rights to the family support division on behalf of the state as a condition of eligibility for benefits pursuant to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and either party initiates a motion to modify the support obligation by reducing it, the state of Missouri shall be named as a party to the proceeding.  The state shall be served with a copy of the motion by sending it by certified mail to the director of the family support division.

  6.  The court shall have continuing personal jurisdiction over both the obligee and the obligor of a court order for child support or maintenance for the purpose of modifying such order.  Both obligee and obligor shall notify, in writing, the clerk of the court in which the support or maintenance order was entered of any change of mailing address.  If personal service of the motion cannot be had in this state, the motion to modify and notice of hearing shall be served outside the state as provided by supreme court rule 54.14.  The order may be modified only as to support or maintenance installments which accrued subsequent to the date of personal service.  For the purpose of 42 U.S.C. Section 666(a)(9)(C), the circuit clerk shall be considered the appropriate agent to receive notice of the motion to modify for the obligee or the obligor, but only in those instances in which personal service could not be had in this state.

  7.  If a responsive pleading raising the issues of custody or visitation is filed in response to a motion to modify child support filed at the request of the family support division by a prosecuting attorney or circuit attorney or an attorney under contract with the division, such responsive pleading shall be severed upon request.

  8.  Notwithstanding any provision of this section which requires a showing of substantial and continuing change in circumstances, in a IV-D case filed pursuant to this section by the family support division as provided in section 454.400, the court shall modify a support order in accordance with the guidelines and criteria set forth in supreme court rule 88.01 and any regulations thereunder if the amount in the current order differs from the amount which would be ordered in accordance with such guidelines or regulations.


(L. 1973 H.B. 315 § 15, A.L. 1982 S.B. 468, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1479, A.L. 1987 H.B. 484, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al., A.L. 1990 S.B. 834, A.L. 1993 S.B. 253, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)


Court may abate past or future support obligation if custodial parent, without good cause, fails to honor visitation order, 452.340

Emancipation of child, factors determining, 452.340

(1976) Evidence that former husband had suffered, at most, eight percent reduction in pay since time of divorce, that he had been on strike for six weeks, and that he had suffered loss of income as result of medical and dental care held insufficient to show changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make terms of alimony decree unreasonable. Ward v. Ward (A.), 534 S.W.2d 593.

(1976) Receipt of inheritance by wife held not to constitute such a change in circumstances as would justify modification of alimony decree ($65,900.00) increase in net worth.  Seelig v. Seelig (A.), 540 S.W.2d 142.

(1977) Held that increase of father's income from twenty thousand dollars a year to fifty-one thousand dollars a year justified increasing child support from one hundred dollars a month to four hundred fifty dollars a month.  Barnhill v. Barnhill (A.), 547 S.W.2d 858.

(1977) Court seems to say that income of "new" wife is to be considered as part of father and former husband's "means" in determining amount of award for attorney's fees and impliedly in computing ability to pay child support.  In re Marriage of Engelhardt (A.), 552 S.W.2d 356.

(1978) Reduction of monthly child support by $140, and not $200, was authorized, where only changed circumstances following marriage dissolution was ex-husband's $140 reduced monthly income.  Nagel v. Nagel (A.), 561 S.W.2d 693.

(1978) Held, finding that wife, unemployed at time of divorce, but who now earned salary of $654 a month, was substantial enough circumstances to make terms of original decree awarding alimony unreasonable. Stahlhut v. Stahlhut (A.), 562 S.W.2d 764.

(1978) Held, that although facts that needs of growing children increase, and increase in income of supporting spouse would support a modification of decree, it must be shown that their effect make the decree unreasonable. Plattner v. Plattner (A.), 567 S.W.2d 139.

(1981) Common law rule that parent's obligation for child support terminates on death of parent was not modified by enactment of statute governing termination of support by emancipation of child. Bushell v. Schepp (A.), 613 S.W.2d 689.

(1981) Purpose of statute governing termination of child support is to make it absolute that, absent express provisions to contrary in divorce decree or separation agreement, obligation ends upon emancipation and does not automatically continue to age 21.  Bushell v. Schepp (A.), 613 S.W.2d 689.

(1985) The phrase "future statutory maintenance" is held to limit termination by reason of remarriage to periodic maintenance of indefinite duration subject to modification upon change of circumstances, as well as those cases in which the parties have otherwise agreed.  An award of monthly payments to be used only to pay off a marital debt cannot be considered "statutory maintenance".  Lietz v. Moore (A.), 703 S.W.2d 54.

(1986) An award of maintenance in gross payable in installments rendered under this section is distinct from any award rendered under section 452.080, RSMo, and therefore may terminate with the death or remarriage of the spouse to whom the award is made.  Nelson v. Nelson, 720 S.W.2d 947 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1987) Custodial parent who petitioned for modification of child support less than two years after original dissolution decree was not entitled increase in child support on the basis that, in general, children are more expensive when they are older but must present specific evidence of the increased needs of the children for which increased child support is sought.  Farris v. Farris, 733 S.W.2d 819 (Mo.App.W.D.).

(1987) Dissolution decree may expressly provide that ex-husband's obligation to provide maintenance in the form of life insurance is not terminated upon his death pursuant to subsection 2 of this section.  McAvinew v. McAvinew, 733 S.W.2d 816 (Mo.App. W.D.).

(2011) Statutory presumption that an obligation to pay maintenance is terminated by remarriage can be overcome by an agreement in writing between the parties that either expressly or by implication extends that obligation.   Simpson v. Simpson, 352 S.W.3d 362 (Mo.banc).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2014 ----

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