Skip to main content
Benicia A. Baker-Livorsi

Benicia Baker-Livorsi’s Answers

83 total


  • Do I have rights to visit my child as their biological father

    I got a girl pregnant, she is about 16 weeks along and having a baby boy. The mother and I live in different cities and only knew eachother about a week before conception so we are kind of strangers. I was charged with a felony about 2 years ago w...

    Benicia’s Answer

    I agree with Ryan but I would add that your felony charge may affect decision making. Certain felonies affect custody, by law. You did not disclose your actual charge in your question.

    You do not have any rights to see your child unless you see an actual judge. Do not sign the birth certificate without consulting a lawyer. Child support enforcement is barred by law from addressing custody so if you get notice of a child support action, call your lawyer ASAP.

    Right now, today, you have no rights but a lawyer can help you get those rights here in Missouri.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    (636)947-8181

    See question 
  • Is there a way to write up an agreed upon modification to a custody schedule that would be recognized legally?

    We have been in a custody battle for almost 5 years and played more cat and mouse games than I care to talk about. NCP now wants more weekends for visitation during the school year but currently gets 2/3 of the summer. Is there a way we can write ...

    Benicia’s Answer

    You can have an agreement written up and it must be approved by a judge in order to be binding. However, what you are correct in worrying about is Missouri's ban on self-modifying orders. In Missouri, orders are usually not enforceable if they can contain self-modifying conditions.

    There are ways around this rule, but you need an experienced family law attorney to draft such an agreement creatively to maximize its likelihood of enforcement and penalize challenges to its provisions.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    (636)947-8181

    See question 
  • What should I start with?

    Hi, my name is Mike. I am seeking help to get my kids back. A little more than two years ago I had to leave my job due to personal issues. I fell behind on child support because I had no steady income. A year and a half ago she stopped letting me ...

    Benicia’s Answer

    I also agree with Mr. Dulle that you should hire counsel. You can also request an administrative modification of your support from Family Support Division while you are accumulating funds for an attorney. Good luck.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    636-947-8181

    See question 
  • Is there an appeal process? Could there be negligence on the service provider for leading me to believe everything was okay?

    I had multiple dwi. Paid and paid for proceedings and got hardship. Interlock device installed and had it over two years before my actual license was reinstated. Six month started and at the end upon review I was denied certificate of completion d...

    Benicia’s Answer

    Any claim you had may be affected by your service contract with providers. Do you still have that paperwork? I recommend finding a new II provider,if allowed by court or PO.

    See question 
  • Am I still financially liable if she fails to make payments or short sells the house?

    Divorced about a year. I live in MO, wife lives in AR. Part of the divorce decree was that I give up ownership to joint property (house). Claim deed was signed over to spouse and she took sole tax deductions on the house and will do so again th...

    Benicia’s Answer

    I agree with Ben's answer above but I have an additional question...was this a Missouri or Arkansas decree? I can only answer about Missouri law.

    See question 
  • If he's behind in payments an gets a notice that his tax return will be taken are they still going to with the arrangement set?

    My daughter's father is on child support an hasn't made a payment He's $5000 behind but just recently agreed to a payment arrangement that says he has to pay the court ordered amount and an additional 24$ he asked me if I could speak to the cour...

    Benicia’s Answer

    First, tax intercepts are handled by Missouri Family Support Division...not the courts. If you ever received TANF then you assigned your arrears to the state, up to the amount you were paid. You have no authority to take action on those arrears. If you didn't receive aid or less than the amount seized, you might be able to stop the intercept. I presume you aren't looking to delete his arrears. I can help you if you have further questions.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    636-947-8181

    See question 
  • Is it illegal for DFS to take your children for treated mental health issues when there is no evidence of abuse or neglect?

    Newton County DFS took my children when I filed a restraining order and child protective order against my ex as he is an alcoholic and was endangering our child together. The other two children are not his and do not see him. There was no eviden...

    Benicia’s Answer

    Our office handled Juvenile matters in St. Charles County Juvenile Court weekly. I strongly suggest you call our office and ask to speak with Pam Ciskowski about your options. You can't afford to weight with Juvenile Court. You should get every single piece of paper you can find and bring with you to your appointment. Please call my office at 636-947-8181 and let her know Benicia Livorsi referred you. I understood everything you listed in your explanation of events and I agree with the other poster that you need a lawyer and I would add that you needed a lawyer last week.

    Don't let the Juvenile system keep you from exercising your legal rights.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    636-947-8181

    See question 
  • Original divorce says.Until minor children have reached majority or become emancipated, nothing 2 pay post secondary education

    Missouri Law. Do I have to pay after he gets out of high school? One of the children is autistic, do I have to pay after he graduated too? they are 2 children... nothing in the papers say to pay during college or for any disability

    Benicia’s Answer

    This answer is a little more complex that the prior answers. First, it is imperative that your lawyer reads all versions of your decree and marital settlement decree. Here is why -- under the statute a child emancipates at age 18 unless the child is still in high school and then when he graduates. If, however, he continues to college immediately after graduating high school (and maintains the right credit hours and gives the right notice) then he can continue to get child support. That is child support and not tuition He can still also get college tuition and room and board if either parent files a motion to modify before the child emancipates.

    You, however, mentioned that your child is autistic, IF your original decree entered a finding that your child is autistic in the original decree (quite likely because it usually doesn't just appear late in life) then any good divorce lawyer would have insisted that your divorce decree include a special provision exempting your child from the age 18 emancipation date due to his development limitations.

    By law, if your child is still under age 18 you can file a motion to modify to fix this if it was omitted in an effort to extend child support permanently. If, however, he is past age 18 there are some options but they are limited. They usually involve relying on the social security disability office to obtaining additional funding from the federal government which usually exceeds the child support funds.

    You have raised some very important questions and I STRONGLY encourage you to contact a St. Louis area family law attorney. Good luck to you and your family.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    636-947-8181
    livorsi@lawyer.com

    See question 
  • What can I do?

    I currently have custody of our kid until trial or G.A.L. says otherwise.Before, her mother shared custody&she kept our daughter an extra week out of state w/o permission.Told the G.A.L. &was given custody until he devises a custody plan.I was let...

    Benicia’s Answer

    It sounds like you already have an attorney. You have to discuss these issues with your current lawyer. These boards are wonderful ways to get legal advice but things we say can contradict your persona lawyer's strategy and that is the last thing any of us wants. I think I speak for most of us contributors when I say that you should call your lawyer and make an appointment with him or her about everything in this post (even show the post to him or her) and ask for input. Your lawyer can get certified copies of his criminal record and use your ex's poor decision making to your benefit. What you learned was important so call your lawyer.

    Benicia Livorsi

    See question 
  • Where and how do I represent myself in a child custody modification.

    I have talked to several lawyers but they all want any where from $3000 to $5000 that I dont have. I only get disability.

    Benicia’s Answer

    I know money is tight but the judgment which can be entered against you by representing yourself can be so bad that you wish you had sold your car to hire a lawyer. It can be worse than your worse fear. Do you have friends you can borrow from or anyone who can tap into a credit card to help? You will need at least basic representation, even if you tell the lawyer not to spend any money doing ANY discovery at all.

    You should also consider calling the Legal Aid Society of Missouri. Here is a list of legal aid agencieies in Neosho.... http://www.yellowpages.com/neosho-mo/free-legal-aid

    See question