Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF NEWTON COUNTY Honorable David R.
Munton, Special Judge
E. SCOTT, J.
appeals a modification of child-visitation
provisions. We rarely grant relief to a party who
leads a trial court one direction, then complains after
judgment that the court ruled that way and not differently,
which is what we see here:
• Before the hearing, the parties announced that they
had agreed on a parenting plan and would provide it to the
• Before judgment was entered, Mother notified the court
of one concern on visitation and proposed slightly tweaking
one clause of the proposed parenting plan to address it.
• After judgment, Mother raised a different complaint -
that the visitation provisions violated statutory
requirements that Mother knew of all along and that
Mother's own proposal would have equally violated - and
Mother persists in that claim as her sole point on appeal.
recognize, at least theoretically, several issues and
concerns expressed by the dissent. But we will not fault the
trial court for visitation terms that, as to Mother's
sole point here, cannot be distinguished from what she asked
the court to do. Mother invited any error that she now
claims, so we deny her point and affirm the judgment.
parties' marriage was dissolved in 2007. As modified five
years later, the judgment provided for joint physical custody
of the children, with Mother's address designated for
educational and mailing purposes, and included lengthy
provisions detailing Father's visitation and parenting
time as contemplated by RSMo §§ 452.375.9 and
sought further modification in 2014, alleging that the
children were doing poorly in school and wanted to live with
him. In response, Mother proposed a parenting plan that,
again, included nearly two pages of provisions detailing
visitation and parenting time consistent with §§
452.375.9 and 452.310.8.
time Father's motion was heard in October 2016, all four
of the parties' children, who then ranged in age from 12
to 18, resided with Father with Mother's approval. At the
beginning of the hearing, Mother's counsel announced that
the parties had settled and agreed upon modified custody and
[MOTHER'S ATTORNEY]: Your Honor, we have agreed that the
children -- that there should be a modification of custody in
terms of the fact the children have, one by one, all
expressed a desire to live with the father rather than
mother, and at various dates they have gone to live with him.
But we have agreed that the judgment --previous judgment can
be modified so that the father has sole custody of the
unemancipated minor children.
THE COURT: Okay. So we've had joint prior, and so now
we're going sole physical and legal? Or what are we
[MOTHER'S ATTORNEY]: Right. We had joint legal and
physical before, and now the children are going to go stay
with the father.
THE COURT: Okay. But it won't be joint then.
[MOTHER'S ATTORNEY]: It won't be joint.
THE COURT: It will be just sole?
[MOTHER'S ATTORNEY]: Correct.
[FATHER'S ATTORNEY]: And that's at mother's
THE COURT: All right. All right. Just so I'm clear in
regard to that. So that is going to be stipulated by the
parties, I'm assuming, then?
[MOTHER'S ATTORNEY]: Yes.
THE COURT: And I'm assuming that proposed judgment had a