Marriage of Holt, In re, No. 63291

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtBARDGETT; WELLIVER; DONNELLY
Citation635 S.W.2d 335
Docket NumberNo. 63291
Decision Date06 July 1982
PartiesIn re the MARRIAGE OF Barbara HOLT (Staats) and Jessie R. Holt. Barbara HOLT (Staats), Appellant, v. Jessie R. HOLT, Respondent.

Page 335

635 S.W.2d 335
In re the MARRIAGE OF Barbara HOLT (Staats) and Jessie R. Holt.
Barbara HOLT (Staats), Appellant,
v.
Jessie R. HOLT, Respondent.
No. 63291.
Supreme Court of Missouri, En Banc.
July 6, 1982.

Michael R. Henry, Will Fletcher, Division of Family Services, Jefferson City, for appellant.

George M. Johnson, Springfield, for respondent.

BARDGETT, Judge.

This cause was ordered transferred to this Court by the court of appeals, southern district, because the case involves a determination of the constitutionality of § 516.350, RSMo 1978, as applied to child-support payments.

The Holts were divorced on January 16, 1970. The decree of divorce ordered respondent-husband to pay $75 per month for the support of each of the two minor children. Respondent made the $150 payments from February 1970 to April or May 1973. In July 1973, the checks began coming from the Air Force Finance and Accounting Center and were in the total amount of $100. These payments stopped after the December 1980 check. On November 5, 1980, appellant-wife sought garnishment in aid of execution for $4,760 in arrearages.

The order for execution and garnishment was issued. Respondent filed a motion to quash, alleging that since the child-support judgment had not been revived within ten

Page 336

years of rendition, it was conclusively presumed paid under § 516.350, RSMo 1978. On February 17, 1981, the trial court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law sustaining respondent's motion for the reason that no entry of payment was entered on the court record within ten years of the judgment.

Appellant raises two constitutional attacks against § 516.350, RSMo 1978. First, the statute as applied to child-support judgments violates the equal protection clauses of the United States and Missouri Constitutions because the statute is overinclusive by invidiously discriminating against these children through barring enforcement of such judgments before they are stale. Second, the conclusive presumption of payment after ten years violates due process because it divests children of a vested right by creating an irrebuttable presumption that is not universally true.

The effect of appellant's arguments implies that ten years from the date of the order child-support payments invariably and without exception are conclusively presumed paid. This is not true. Nevertheless, it is unnecessary to reach the constitutionality of § 516.350 with regard to the manner in which the statute was applied in this case because of the disposition which this Court reaches. Additionally, for the same reason, it is unnecessary to determine the manner in which a judgment may be revived or tolled under § 516.350.

Section 516.350 has been found applicable to periodic payments incident to dissolution. See, e.g., Mayes v. Mayes, 342 Mo. 401, 116 S.W.2d 1 (1938). Missouri cases have held that the statutory period begins to run when the order for installment payments is entered. 1 See, e.g., id.; Walls v. Walls, 620 S.W.2d 11 (Mo.App.1981); Pourney v. Seabaugh, 604 S.W.2d 646 (Mo.App.1980). These and other cases, however, have failed to recognize the peculiar nature of future periodic payments and instead have relied on cases which are inapplicable.

For instance, Walls v. Walls, supra, cited Pourney v. Seabaugh, supra, for the proposition that § 516.350 applies to periodic orders and the statutory period commences when the order is entered. Pourney, in turn, cited Mayes v. Mayes, supra, for the same proposition. Mayes relied on Nelson v. Nelson, 282 Mo. 412, 221 S.W. 1066 (banc 1920); Eubank v. Eubank, 29 S.W.2d 212 (Mo.App.1930); State ex rel. Meyer v. Buford, 18 S.W.2d 526 (Mo.App.1929); Hauck v. Hauck, 198 Mo.App. 381, 200 S.W. 679 (1918); and Dreyer v. Dickman, 131 Mo.App. 660, 111 S.W. 616 (1908).

These latter cases cite either each other, the following cases, or both for support: Chapman v. Chapman, 269 Mo. 663, 192 S.W. 448 (1917); and Biffle v. Pullman, 114 Mo. 50, 21 S.W. 450 (1893). In neither Chapman nor Biffle, however, was the question whether the then effective statute of limitations applicable even presented.

In Chapman, the former wife sought a judgment for alimony and attempted to sequester the real property of her former husband. The Court doubted that sequestration (equitable...

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14 practice notes
  • Foley v. Foley, No. WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 7, 1982
    ...appellant does not contend otherwise on appeal. Prior to a recent decision handed down by the Supreme Court of this state, Holt v. Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo. en banc, 1982), registration of the California judgment for child support payable in monthly installments would have been barred under......
  • Warner v. Warner, No. 54722
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • August 18, 1983
    ...Barbara v. Charles, 632 S.W.2d 92, 93 (Mo.App.1982); Wedel v. Wedel, 624 S.W.2d 869, 870 (Mo.App.1981). And cf. In re Marriage of Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo.1982). Thus as to past due installments what was registered was a series of individual money judgments dating from January 15, 1971, thr......
  • Gray v. Jackson, No. 15852
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 19, 1989
    ...support and $6,930.90 interest thereon. The defendant has cited a good many precedents to this court, including In re Marriage of Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo.banc 1982) and Tudor v. Tudor, 617 S.W.2d 610 (Mo.App.1981). We are also cited to § 516.350, but as that statute is interpreted by the d......
  • Coleman v. Coleman, No. 58745
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 30, 1991
    ...but from the time that a particular periodic payment was due. Walls v. Walls, 673 S.W.2d 450, 451 (Mo.App.1984); In re Marriage of Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo. banc In this case husband made a child support payment to wife through the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and it was duly pla......
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14 cases
  • Foley v. Foley, No. WD
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • September 7, 1982
    ...appellant does not contend otherwise on appeal. Prior to a recent decision handed down by the Supreme Court of this state, Holt v. Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo. en banc, 1982), registration of the California judgment for child support payable in monthly installments would have been barred under......
  • Warner v. Warner, No. 54722
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • August 18, 1983
    ...Barbara v. Charles, 632 S.W.2d 92, 93 (Mo.App.1982); Wedel v. Wedel, 624 S.W.2d 869, 870 (Mo.App.1981). And cf. In re Marriage of Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo.1982). Thus as to past due installments what was registered was a series of individual money judgments dating from January 15, 1971, thr......
  • Gray v. Jackson, No. 15852
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • June 19, 1989
    ...support and $6,930.90 interest thereon. The defendant has cited a good many precedents to this court, including In re Marriage of Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo.banc 1982) and Tudor v. Tudor, 617 S.W.2d 610 (Mo.App.1981). We are also cited to § 516.350, but as that statute is interpreted by the d......
  • Coleman v. Coleman, No. 58745
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • July 30, 1991
    ...but from the time that a particular periodic payment was due. Walls v. Walls, 673 S.W.2d 450, 451 (Mo.App.1984); In re Marriage of Holt, 635 S.W.2d 335 (Mo. banc In this case husband made a child support payment to wife through the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and it was duly pla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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