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Benicia A. Baker-Livorsi

Benicia Baker-Livorsi’s Answers

77 total


  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • Children's Dad is 42,000 dollars behind in child support and hasn't filed taxes for four years. What do I need to do?

    He had his wages garnished four years ago but the state of Mo hasn't proceeded in doing anything else. He hasn't filed his taxes for four years because he doesn't want the money coming to me. He stopped paying child support last month and went to ...

    Benicia’s Answer

    Ask your State enforcement worker to sent your case over to criminal enforcement. They can file a criminal non-enforcement action. Those actions tend get people willing to pay more than others. If you know where he is working, you can always have a friend videotaping him working (if safety is not a concern). I once had a client had a friend hire a deadbeat landscaper to do landscaping, paid for landscaping with a check, traced where the check was deposited and garnished that bank account to get a lot of money. There are a lot of ways to track down money BUT many many people are really broke..

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  • How can i get my son back in my Custody. From.couple of years ago

    my sons dad and I went to court in Illinois but we live here in m.o i live in ofallon m.o and he lives in st.louis county . The agreement between us was that in two years i can have my custody back which is the Custodial parent. And he will be ...

    Benicia’s Answer

    Mam, you need to contact myself or any other attorney (and there are only a handle of us) who have a niche practice of interstate custody and support issues). In your case, you are describing issues affecting the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) AND the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA). Unfortunately, only a handful of attorneys understand the nuances of this area of law. I don't know the specifics of your case but your statements that you had an Illinois order and you are now both in Missouri should mean that either St. Charles County or St. Louis County should have authority to act -- St. Charles is easier to deal with because of the smaller docket size and you need to be first to file.

    I understand your fears about past abuse and I deal with clients in these situations all of the time. I believe our firm can clearly help you with this case but this can be a difficult fight. Please contact our office to see if we can help you and if you are still interviewing other attorneys ask them things like if they know what PKPA and UCCJEA stands for (or, even better, UIFSA which stands for Uniform Interstate Family Support Act). In my opinion, any attorney who deals with interstate cases should be able to tell you what those acronyms stand for and my screening tool as always work when I suggested it for others. There are others than me -- but the sooner you act the better given the school year, etc.

    Benicia Livorsi
    Practicing in St. Charles, Missouri
    The Family Law Group,. LLC
    636-947-8181
    livorsi@lawyer.com

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  • Me and my husband are divorcing im pregnant at what age can he get overnight visits?

    he plans on moving outta state for 10+ years after we are divorced and im strictly breast feeding her no bottles. im just wondering is there a certain age they will let her leave my side.. i dont think its right that he could take her for a night ...

    Benicia’s Answer

    I have a few pieces of information to add to your brain which you may not know that you need to know.
    1) Since you are PREGNANT and getting divorced, your divorced (by law) is completely stalled until the baby is born;
    2) IF the baby is NOT your husband's child the Court will require that you serve the bio-dad of the new child in your divorce case which will post-postpone your divorce even longer. I am sorry about this but it is based on the concepts of due process for the bio-dad;
    3) There is a way to win the custody argument involving breast feedings but it will involve finding a willing and highly supportive pediatrician and lactation specialist who are BOTH willing to testify at trial about the importance of minimizing alternatives to breast feedings (such as pump feedings.)
    4) You have a strong claim for necessaries against your husband for the cost caring for the pregnancy and birthing expenses -- keep every single receipt and clearly label the receipt from today forward. The more data you have the better

    Anoter option you can propose is that you travel with the child to Father's location once a month for two or three days, staying at a hotel, and he can have the child for two or three hours and return the child to you for breast feeding and night time and he then can enjoy the awake times. This should be at his expenses if he doesn't want to travel back to St. Peters.

    The reality you do need to prepare for is that each child will outgrow the PHYSICAL need to be near you so often and the key is for your to be able to show the Court that you have weaned each child appropriately once the biological need has minimized. Some moms use the nursing as a weapon and have their children nursing until they are 5 and that hurts the child stigma wise

    I like to remind my clients that knowing a child has TWO parents who love him or her conditionally should not make you feel threatened buy blessed,. Too many children out there don't know their dad (and sometimes their moms) or they do know both and they aren't actively wanted by each of them. When each parent is arguing because they want to spend time with the child -- studies show that the child feels safe and loved in both homes so if the child has a fight with mom one night, he has a super safe home at dad's to sleep at for the night while he calms down. Having two grown ups love a child isn't a threat but a blessing. The rest just needs to be seen as logistics in the moment.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    Serving St. Charles County
    livorsi@lawyer.com

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  • When a judge rules in your favor what doesthat mean do I get what I asked for

    The judge told me she contacted the other party an told them they need to offer me a settlement because they discriminated on me they never did so she said she's ready to rule in my favor they lawyer filed a motion for summary judgment but denied...

    Benicia’s Answer

    Judges make a lot of informal comments off of the record in an effort to move a case a long. I am not saying these comments are not truthful but it does not mean that the Judge will definitely rule your way once the final evidence is admitted at trial and the rules of evidence are applied to your case.

    It doesn't sound like you have a lawyer representing you right now and I strongly advise that you hire a lawyer as soon as possible. The biggest mistake you can make is representing yourself at trial. No matter how many episodes of Law and Order you have watched, you won't know how to properly object to evidence which will single-handedly make or break your case.

    Good luck to you on your case.

    Benicia Livorsi
    The Family Law Group, LLC
    livorsi@lawyer.com

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  • My 17 year old does not want to go back to her dads for the school year, what rights does she have to decide herself?

    a court order in place in 2009, stating joint, legal and physical custody. however the children now are 17, the agreement was that the children would live with their dad and attend school there. the order does not state how long or does not state ...

    Benicia’s Answer

    Once a child reaches the age of 14 the child's VOICE is listened to about custody but is not just followed. A child is a child and a court order is a court order. You and your child need to follow it -- however, you have the right to file a motion to modify custody / visitation to address the living situation. Absent an allegation of imminent threat, however, the Court is unlikely to move very quickly on the motion to modify and your child may turn 18 before the case is resolved. This, of course, presumes that dad ignores his daughter's pleas to live with you for a while. If, however, father is listening and a child support schedule or visitation schedule just needs to be tweaked, then you may resolve this fast enough to have meaning for your child.

    You should contact a family law attorney to discuss your options -- and do NOT bring the child with you. An attorney for you should not be seen with your teenager or heard by your teenager.

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  • Can I obtain a divorce if my spouse doesn't want to sign papers?

    I left my spouse a couple of months ago and am getting resistance when asking for a divorce. Will I be able to get the divorce even if my spouse refuses to sign? There are no children. Also, do I get my personal things back that I brought into th...

    Benicia’s Answer

    I agree with the prior answers somewhat. In Missouri you can't force someone to stay married. However, in order to get a divorce a party needs to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance of reconciliation. If the other spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken then the divorcing spouse has to prove other items. Here is the exact language from Missouri Section 452.320...http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C400-499/4520000320.HTM

    452.320. 1. If both of the parties by petition or otherwise have stated under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or one of the parties has so stated and the other has not denied it, the court, after considering the aforesaid petition or statement, and after a hearing thereon shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.

    2. If one of the parties has denied under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the prospect of reconciliation, and after hearing the evidence shall

    (1) Make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken, and in order for the court to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the petitioner shall satisfy the court of one or more of the following facts:

    (a) That the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;

    (b) That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;

    (c) That the respondent has abandoned the petitioner for a continuous period of at least six months preceding the presentation of the petition;

    (d) That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of twelve months immediately preceding the filing of the petition;

    (e) That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least twenty-four months preceding the filing of the petition; or

    (2) Continue the matter for further hearing not less than thirty days or more than six months later, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached on the court's calendar, and may suggest to the parties that they seek counseling. No court shall require counseling as a condition precedent to a decree, nor shall any employee of any court, or of the state or any political subdivision of the state, be utilized as a marriage counselor. At the adjourned hearing, the court shall make a finding whether the marriage is irretrievably broken as set forth in subdivision (1) above and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.

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