Divorce and Custody Hearings Under Missouri Supreme Court Order

April 2020: For separated and divorcing couples and co-parents who have scheduled court hearings pertaining to divorce and/or custody this month, here is an update.

Child welfare, custody and domestic violence proceedings are among the exceptions to the Missouri Supreme Court’s April 1 Order suspending most in-person court proceedings due to the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This Order applies to all appellate and circuit courts.

In-person court proceedings will continue for certain situations that are deemed critical. Exemptions to the suspension Order include:

  • Proceedings related to emergency child custody orders;
  • Proceedings pursuant to Chapter 475 for emergency guardianship or conservatorship;
  • Proceedings pertaining to juvenile delinquency and abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights, pursuant to chapters 210 and 211;
  • Proceedings pursuant to chapter 455 pertaining to orders of protection;
  • Proceedings related to petitions for temporary restraining orders or other forms of temporary injunctive relief;
  • Proceedings pertaining to adoption, pursuant to chapter 453.

All hearings of these types will go forward as scheduled, or at the discretion of the Judge.  

Proceedings that do not require in-person appearances will continue. In most other cases, hearings will be postponed. The Order states that “judges may exercise their discretion to conduct proceedings that do not require in-person appearances or in-person proceedings suspended as a result of this Order by teleconferencing, video conferencing, or other available technology”. Parties will be notified through their attorneys if their hearing has been rescheduled or how it will be handled.

This Order remains in effect until May 1, 2020, but may be extended as the pandemic situation warrants.

With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact our team.