Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County 16SL-DR03988
Honorable Thea Anne Sherry
HONORABLE MARY K. HOFF
Ann Lollar ("Wife") appeals from the "Amended
Judgment/Decree of Dissolution of Marriage"
("Amended Judgment") of the trial court claiming
that the trial court erred with respect to its order for
child support and in its distribution of marital property. We
affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
and Procedural Background
and Richard Dwain Lollar ("Husband") married on
April 25, 2005, and one child ("Child") was born of
the marriage who was eleven years old at the time of trial.
Husband and Wife separated on December 9, 2015 after Husband
was incarcerated while facing charges of statutory sodomy in
the first degree, child molestation in the first degree, and
statutory rape in the first degree involving Child. On July
15, 2016, Wife filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
("Petition"), subsequently amended on July 12,
2017, alleging, inter alia, that her marriage with
Husband was irretrievably broken, that she should be granted
sole legal and physical custody of Child and child support,
that Child's name should be changed, and requesting that
the trial court equitably set aside and divide the
parties' marital property.
guardian ad litem ("GAL") was appointed to
represent Child's interests, and a trial commenced on
October 18, 2017 before a Family Court Commissioner
("Commissioner"). At trial, Wife testified that
after Husband allegedly abused Child, she sought and obtained
against Husband a full order of child protection, dated
December 28, 2015 in Cause No. 15SL-PN05238, and a full order
of adult protection, dated December 28, 2015 in Cause No.
15SL-PN05237 (collectively referred to as "Orders of
Protection"). When Wife offered the Orders of Protection
into evidence, Husband stipulated to their existence and
contents, but he made no admission of guilt as to the
allegations contained therein, which purportedly included
claims of physical abuse against Wife and sexual abuse
against Child. The GAL informed the Commissioner that the
Orders of Protection mandated that Husband pay $1, 500 per
month in child support to Wife.
acknowledged that there were times during the marriage in
which Husband asked her to obtain employment due to the
family's financial circumstances, but she believed it was
more important to stay at home with Child. Wife testified
that now, however, she works as an administrative assistant
and makes $22, 000 per year. Wife testified that she did not
believe that Husband was receiving an income given his
incarceration, and therefore waived maintenance and the
request for child support she initially made in her Petition.
As for the division of property, Wife testified that she
sought to retain all property in her possession, including
the parties' television, computer, dishes, and kitchen
items; to remain responsible for all debts in her name; to be
granted the parties' 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and be
responsible for the loan, licenses, and other fees associated
with the vehicle; and to receive 100% of Husband's 401(k)
retirement account, which he had obtained through his
employment with Lanter Delivery. Wife further requested that
Husband retain all property in his possession and remain
responsible for all debts in his name while receiving no part
of his 401(k) account. Husband stipulated to this property
division except as to Wife's request for 100% of his
401(k). Beyond Wife's testimony that she believed
Husband's 401(k) contained less than $5, 000, no evidence
was produced as to its actual value.
further testified that after Husband's incarceration, she
used the proceeds from his last paychecks from his employer
as well as the parties' tax refund to "pa[y] all the
[credit card] debt that was in [her] name" as well as to
pay bills, utilities at the family's residence, and
property taxes on Wife's vehicle and Husband's Ford
Mustang. Wife testified that she thereafter voluntarily
surrendered Husband's vehicle to the credit union and
that she moved out of the parties' residence, giving
Husband's personal items, motorcycle, and clothes to
November 17, 2017, the Commissioner entered its
"Judgment/Decree of Dissolution," which the trial
court adopted as its own judgment on December 29, 2017.
Therein, the trial court dissolved the parties' marriage,
awarded Wife full legal and physical custody of Child, and
divided the marital property. The trial court awarded Wife
the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze; all personal property in her
possession; and responsibility for credit card debts in her
name along with 50% of outstanding bills and taxes amounting
to a total debt of approximately $11, 000. The trial court
awarded Husband all personal property in his possession; 100%
of his 401(k) account (no value listed); and responsibility
for credit card debts in his name as well as 50% of
outstanding bills and taxes amounting to a total debt of
approximately $12, 800. The trial court awarded "$0.00
per month" in child support retroactive to July 15,
2016, the date Wife filed her initial Petition, and
"supersede[d] the previous [child support] order in
15SL-PN05237." The trial court also abated the previous
child support order "from December 11, 2015 up to the
date of filing [of] the Petition," July 15, 2016.
Finally, the trial court denied Wife's request for a name
change for Child.
January 16, 2018, Wife filed a motion for new trial or, in
the alternative, to amend the judgment alleging that the
trial court erred in entering a child support award with a
start date predating the filing of the Petition, erred in
failing to equitably divide the marital property, and erred
in failing to grant a name change for Child. On February 1,
2018, the trial court entered its Amended Judgment, which
granted a name change for Child. On February 28, 2018, the
trial court denied Wife's motion for new trial on the
remaining grounds. Wife's timely appeal follows.
review a dissolution judgment under the same standard
applicable to any other court-tried case. Finch v.
Finch, 442 S.W.3d 209, 214 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014). Thus,
we will affirm the judgment "unless it is not supported
by substantial evidence, it is against the weight of the
evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the
law." Id. (quoting Foraker v. Foraker,
133 S.W.3d 84, 92 (Mo. App. W.D. 2004)); Murphy v.
Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976). We view the
evidence and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn in
the light most favorable to the judgment; we disregard all
other evidence and contrary inferences. Id.
trial court has broad discretion when dividing marital
property and awarding child support." Hurst v.
Hurst, 553 S.W.3d 853, 857 (Mo. App. E.D. 2018). The
trial court abuses this discretion "only when its ruling
is clearly against the logic of the circumstances and is so
arbitrary and unreasonable as to shock one's sense of
justice and indicate a lack of careful consideration."
Id. (quoting Coleman v. Coleman, 318 S.W.3d
715, 720 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010)) (internal quotations omitted).