Missouri Family Court

A guide to Missouri Family Court from the experienced Missouri family law attorneys at Masterson Law. Find out everything you need to know about the Missouri family court system from a trusted Springfield family law attorney here.

Missouri Family Court

The Missouri Family Court has exclusive, original jurisdiction in most matters involving marriage, child custody, abortion, adult abuse and neglect, and other related matters.

Read on to learn more about the specific situations handled by the Missouri Family Court and how the courts vary by location. For more information or specific family court questions, reach out to Masterson Law, your trusted Missouri family law attorney.

Missouri Family Court Records

In 1961, the Missouri State Legislature passed a law called the Missouri Public Records Law. When the legislature enacted Missouri Public Records Law, it declared that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state. This law was permitted with the most recent changes in 2006 and ensures disclosure of court documents, including family court records. Family court records can be accessed by contacting your local circuit court.

Family Court in Missouri: Circuit Courts

Family court in Missouri covers a wide range of family-related matters, which are handled by local circuit courts. Circuit Courts have jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases and are generally organized into divisions based on case types, such as Missouri Family Court, Municipal Court,  Juvenile Court, Probate Court, Small Claims Court, Associate Circuit, and Traffic Court.

Family Court Kansas City MO

Kansas City, Missouri is located in Jackson County, which is part of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Missouri.

Family Court KCMO

In Jackson County, there are three locations where family law matters may be heard. One location is downtown in Kansas City, Missouri. The Family Justice Center, which handles juvenile matters, is also located in Kansas City. Another location is in Independence, Missouri, but families residing in Kansas City may still be called to this court.

Family Court Kansas City Missouri

In Kansas City, Missouri, family law matters such as Missouri divorce, paternity, contempt, motions to modify, child custody and related cases are often heard at the downtown and Independence locations. Juvenile matters are heard at the Family Justice Center.

Missouri Family Court: County by County

In Missouri, family court matters are handled at the county level by the circuit courts.

Jackson County Missouri Family Court

In Jackson County, Missouri, family court matters are handled by the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Missouri. According to their website, the 16th Circuit Court’s Family Court Services “operates programs to meet the diverse needs of youth, families and the community. Through these programs, Court personnel aim to provide youth and families with new ways to cope, experience their potential, and assist youth in abstaining from delinquent behavior. Habilitation and rehabilitative services include: clear expectations and provide assistance in developing abilities to make good choices; recognize and experience individual potential; and opportunities to develop academic, vocational and life skills.”

These services are provided in addition to standard family court services.

Clay County Missouri Family Court

Clay County family court services are handled by the 7th Judicial Circuit Court. The Clay County family court building is located in Liberty, Missouri. This court covers all matters typically assigned to Missouri Family Court.

Family Court St Louis County Missouri

St. Louis County, Missouri, is serviced by the 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri. The Family Court has been serving the citizens of St. Louis County since 1993. The Court exclusively hears cases involving children and families, and functions under the principle of “one family – one Judge”. This means that all matters involving a specific family are assigned to the Judge or Commissioner when possible, bringing continuity and consistency to the judicial procedure.

St Louis County Family Court

In addition to hearing cases, the St. Louis Family Court provides numerous support services for those coming to this Court’s attention. These services include individual and group counseling services, parent education courses, probationary services, and restitution programs.

St Louis City Family Court

Families residing in St. Louis City, Missouri, are serviced by the 22nd Circuit Court of Missouri. The Family Court legislation that was enacted after the 1993 Legislative Session provides for jurisdiction over legal separations, all divorce actions, child custody, adoptions, juvenile proceedings, adult abuse, and changes of title.

If you need assistance with any of these Missouri family court matters, reach out to the experienced family court and child custody lawyers at Masterson Law.

MO Dept of Child Support Enforcement

Missouri’s Child Support program began under an executive order in 1977, and on August 15, 1986, a statute established what we know today as the Missouri Child Support laws. Child Services has the duty of managing the Child Support program pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act and Chapter 454 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

The responsibilities of the Missouri Child Support program include establishing paternity, distributing support collections, reviewing and initiating modification of support orders, establishing child and medical support orders, and monitoring and enforcing compliance with child and medical support orders.

Child Service clients come from several resources. When a parent receives Temporary Assistance or MO HealthNet advantages, a referral is made to the Child Support program. Child Support groups on behalf of households receiving public assistance eliminate dependence on assistance programs but reimburse the jurisdiction for the benefits provided to these families.

MO Family Services

In addition to family court, Missouri provides a number of services to families. This includes temporary assistance programs like food stamps, children’s health insurance programs, child support enforcement, adoption, and foster care services. The Missouri Family Support Division supports a mission to lead the nation in building the capacity of individuals, families, and communities to secure and sustain healthy, safe, and productive lives.

For more questions on family law in Missouri, contact a trusted Springfield attorney.


Summer Masterson-Goethals
Consumer and family lawyer, former legal aid attorney and Missouri Bar Leadership Academy member, Springfield Business Journal 40 under 40 Honoree. Site Map

Masterson Law
3030 E. Battlefield, Suite A
Springfield, MO 65804
(417) 522-1280