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S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2512
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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I was looking up cohabitation law, Only verbal for 10 years,

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Hi, I was looking up cohabitation law
JA: Was a cohabitation agreement reached? What are the basic terms?
Customer: Only verbal for 10 years
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: MO
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am disabled and am abused

What exactly would you like to know?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I would like to know the cohabitation law in MO. I am disabled and in an abusive situation.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can't call because he might hear me

What about cohabitation? Are you asking about getting a protection or restraining order? Are you asking about property division or support? What exactly do you want to know?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What the law indicates in MO for cohabitation. What rights do I have to property or a financial type settlement?

Unfortunately, Missouri does not recognize common law marriage unless the common law marriage was created in another state where common law marriages are recognized. Unless you had a cohabitation agreement, you have no more rights than a roommate or friend. You may be able to get a protection or restraining order, but unless your name is ***** ***** title to property, you are not entitled to any property. Furthermore, there is no right to alimony in cases of cohabitation without marriage.

Do you have any other questions?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If I am not on the title of the property and get a restraining order what happens?

If you got a protection order, it could forbid him from entering your home, even if he owns the home as long as you were jointly occupying the home. Eventually, he could probably recoup the home, but it would not be immediately. The protection order does not give him the home, but he may pursue other legal measures, such as eviction, to get his property back.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He already has several complaints and the police have come several times. He is an alcoholic and posses a gun. The neighbor called the police on him as well. I have taped him in the abusive states and did call the police when he tried to rape me. Do I have a civil case as the cohabitation laws in MO do not apply?

You could if you can show financial damages to you resulting from the abuse. Financial damages could be lost wages, physical or emotional injury, or any other expenses you incurred. It is hard to do such a lawsuit without an attorney, and if you want to avoid paying an attorney up front, you need to hire an attorney who is willing to take the case on a "contingency" basis. Most attorneys will only do this if they feel certain that they will win the case.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I understand. And, in MO, if I call the police with having to go to a shelter, for further abuse, I think he goes to jail. So, where do I start? If I get an OP? And, I am sure that I won't find a contingency lawyer even though I have a strong case of abuse. I have a child in the mix as well and uprooting him will be further damaging.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
can he expedite the OP to regain getting back into the house?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Does my being disabled have any content to this matter? I am coming from a place of fear so please pardon my constant questions or repetition.

Expediting the Order of Protection won't get him back in the house sooner. He would have to go through eviction procedures, and those are independent of a protection order proceeding. You could seek the protection order and call the police. But for the best safety planning, I recommend finding a domestic violence non-profit service agency in your area (usually associated with a shelter, but not always) to help you develop a safety plan. They are the experts at helping you assess what is the safest way for you to extricate yourself from the situation. They can help you think of details you never would have thought of. They also know more about how things actually go in your locality, as opposed to how they should go pursuant to the law.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can't be separated from my son and the shelters are for abused women. However, you have given me some hope and good information. So, what would be a timeline of him regaining access if it goes to eviction? And can I fight the eviction?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
in a protection order proceeding can I be present and extend it?

Some shelters accept sons, others do not. You may know the shelters in your area better than I.

If you are not paying him rent, he would have to give you a thirty day notice to vacate. After the thirty days, if you don't leave, he can file a possession case against you. If you do owe rent and you don't pay it, he can instead give you a demand to pay the rent and then file a lawsuit against you. The lawsuit procedure could take a couple of weeks. To file a lawsuit, he would have to get a summons that the sheriff or other court officer would serve on you. A court date will be scheduled for not more than 21-days after the summons is issued unless the landlord requests a later date.

The summons may be served personally, on a person at least 15-years of age who resides on the property, or by posting and mail. If service is by posting, hed must file a motion and obtain a court order to do so. This would take him additional time (maybe a day).

You would then have an eviction trial before a judge. If he proves his or her case or you do not appear, the court will issue a judgment for possession to the landlord. After the judgement is issued, you have 10-days to file an appeal. The court will issue a Writ of Execution if requested by him after the 10-day period. The writ is given to the sheriff’s office, which schedules an eviction date. The writ does have an expiration date and the landlord must contact the sheriff’s office at least 7 days before the expiration of the date.

Can you be present where and extend what? I'm not sure what you mean.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It sounds like after I get an OP I have about 30 days. I do not owe rent as we have joint accounts. My goal would be to recoup what I have put into the property and also personal damages relating to abuse. What type of attorney would I call in this case?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
for my hopefully last question, how can I prevent him from making false statements about me to family or future employers? Is that part of the OP?

Any general or personal injury attorney could do it.

Stopping him from making false statements about you is not part of the protection order. You could threaten to sue him for defamation or libel, but other than that, there's not much you can do. The order would protect against "harassment" but I'm not sure if lying about you would rise to the level of harassment.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Personal injury attorney usually take contingency cases so that is good news. I think perhaps they good "GAG" order him. I think I have a good timeline now. I will contact the local abuse authorities first, get info, file an OP and contact a personal injury attorney. Does that sound about right? And, just to confirm, once the OP is in place, I have about 30 days. Also, sorry, but, if I can the police and he goes to jail, how can he be served with the OP?

You have 30 days, if he responds immediately. He may have a delay figuring out what to do.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am trying to get a timeline down as to how to proceed. That is, he goes to jail, I file a OP at the same time, call a personal injury attorney (that will do what legally simutaniously?) sorry on the spelling, and then what? As, you said, he will have to figure out what to do, I assume, from the charges filed correct?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
34;the people vs, ... charges comes from the court indicating a court date, and then additional charges that the personal injury attorney will file will have an additional court date?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Then there is an additional date for the OP?

Depending on the situation, he has to figure out what he will do. For example, does he want to focus on the criminal case, the protection order or an eviction. And how long does it take him to get to the eviction with the other problems he's facing? How sophisticated is he? Can he hire an attorney for each of these things, will he be doing it himself?

The OP is temporary until a follow up hearing a few weeks later where he gets to defend himself.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I understand, great info. Now, with the criminal case, I will have to press charges correct? So it's me against him or the state against him?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
You are amazing and have calmed me down if that means anything.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
his father will probably loan him the money for whatever he needs. Blaming me of course
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He will get out on OR probably or get bail, but the crimes are both physical and emotional abuse.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Physical specific to molestation and attempted rape.

When you make a report, the police may arrest him if they feel there's enough evidence. Then the prosecutor decides whether or not to prosecute him. They are more likely to do so if you're cooperative, but they can do so against your will. They are most likely to prosecute if you contact the police immediately when physical abuse occurs, and if there is physical evidence of the abuse (or he admits it).

I'm glad I can help. You may want to speak to the domestic violence professionals in your area to see how hard it is to get a perpetrator charged with domestic violence.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did call the police last time it happened and it is on record but I did not press charges, stupid and afraid me. Since there are several complaints on record I feel that if I press charges he will be prosecuted. So, basically, I have to roll the dice on the arrest, that is if they charge him this next time. But with the previous call to the police and it is on record, I feel I have a better chance. I will speak to the local domestic violence people here and move forward. I know you hear of this often, I am an educated women, former exec with Microsoft. I have been made to feel stupid and small. Being disabled and immobile is like being in a horror movie. And the effects on my child are irreverseable. I thank you for your time and information.

I have seen the most amazing women beaten down to where they forget their identity and believe they're nothing - and when they emerge from the abuse, they find themselves again and thrive.

The effects may be irreversible, but they can be guided to be a useful experience rather than a disabling experience. If your child gets counseling, it can help him learn how to break the cycle of violence and not repeat it as a victim or as a perpetrator.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Through tears, I feel stronger and more powerful. I can't thank you enough for your taking the time to guide me through this horrible situation. Getting "me" back will be a struggle, but I won't be cowering in a corner anymore. So, if nothing else, please know that you have possibly saved a women from further abuse and pain. My nature is not to hurt anyone, but, it's time to step the hell up and with this dialog I will now.

I'm truly happy for you for beginning to find yourself again. I wish you the best and feel free to update me on your journey.

S. Kincaid and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** will update you as I move forward. Now, my next battle is with my ex who has not seen his son in 7 years and is a billionaire living in Granite Bay, CA. Not kidding. He stated in an email that he took his son's trust fund. Yeah, not kidding on that one. Emails to prove. But, I think getting out of this situation is first on the agenda.