The Justice Department released a new report on family court practices. It found that children in the St. Louis County juvenile system are treated unfairly.
Local Rule 68 sets out specific requirements and restrictions for proceedings including dissolutions of marriage, legal separations, paternity actions and custody and support actions. It also provides for a list of approved mediators.
A local family law attorney can help individuals with legal separations, divorce actions, child custody disputes and more. We can also assist with matters related to alimony, child support payments and modifications. Our lawyers can assist clients with presenting evidence, including school records, testimony of a psychologist or substance abuse counselor and criminal history.
We also appear in juvenile court truancy cases, since these children often have families and personal problems that affect their attendance at school. We work to address these issues and get children back into the classroom, where they belong.
St. Louis County Family Court operates programs that provide youth with the skills they need to return to their homes and communities after being released from the Juvenile Detention Center or Lakeside Residential Treatment Center. The program helps these kids learn how to cope with their situations and experience new ways of being. This can lead to positive outcomes for them and their families.
A mental health therapist at FCS works with youth and families that are court involved. She or he prepares reports that are shared with the family, GAL, DJO, attorney for the child and judicial officer. Sessions may be held in-person or over the phone.
The lawsuits of Cortney Nolan and Tolu Pudlowski have drawn attention to the emotional turmoil of the county’s family courts. Nolan claims that her contentious divorce cost upwards of a million dollars, much of which went to lawyers and court-ordered therapy.
The Missouri Chapter of AFCC hosts family law educational programs throughout the state, including those for youth. The chapter’s free brown-bag seminars are often held at the downtown St. Louis and the Family Justice Center locations, as well as occasionally at the Marygrove residential treatment center in Lakeside, MO. These programs are designed to give people the tools and knowledge they need to navigate a family law case without a lawyer.
The court encourages the use of mediation services to assist families in resolving their legal issues. A trained mediator can help a family work out property settlements, financial arrangements and parenting decisions.
Child custody is determined by a Judge based on the best interest of the children involved in each case. The Judge will consider a variety of factors, including the history of the parents and the relationship between the child(ren) and each parent. The judge may decide on joint custody or sole custody for either one or both of the parents.
Missouri law requires that parents seeking a divorce, a legal separation or declaring paternity or filing a motion to modify a prior order that involves custody of their children must attend a parenting class sponsored through the court. The online program, Focus on Kids (Focus on Children), satisfies the state requirement and is accepted by 10 counties in this state.
One important service available to families through the Family Court is case management services. The goal is to connect children and parents to appropriate service providers and help them obtain the treatment services they need in the least restrictive environment possible.
Children’s Mental Health case managers work with families and with other professionals to help them access services such as counseling, therapy and behavioral support. They can also make referrals to community resources and provide family education.
The Circuit Judges of the 21st Judicial Circuit have appointed Judge Sandra Farragut-Hemphill to lead their Family Court Division. Her appointment makes her the first African American to hold the position.
The Court has reviewed plaintiff’s complaint, filed in forma pauperis, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915. Having examined the complaint, this Court finds that it is without subject matter jurisdiction. Printed daily calendars located outside each courtroom or in each public lobby contain the most current courtroom scheduling information.