The Jackson County Family Court Division was established in August 1993 by enactment of House Bill 346. Once known as the “Juvenile Division”, the Family Court is a designated division within the 16th Judicial Circuit Court and by statute is accorded broad jurisdiction over domestic relations and juvenile matters.
The Family Court has the authority to hear and determine the following:
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Child Dependency
- All matters involving Chapter 210/211 matters
- All matters involving dissolution of marriage, legal separation, separate maintenance, child custody, modifications;
- Annulment of marriage
- Paternity actions
- Actions for determining and enforcing support under Chapter 454
- Adult abuse and child protection matters under Chapter 455
- Changes of name
- Marriage license waiting period waivers
The structure and operation of the Family Court Division differ from other divisions within the Circuit Court in many ways. Various programs and services are delivered that promote the timely and just resolution of family disputes, dependency issues and delinquency matters within a comprehensive family justice system. Commissioners are appointed to hear family court cases and make findings and recommendations subject to final adoption and confirmation by an associate or circuit court judge. Additionally, judges and commissioners assigned to hear family court matters have received special training in family issues and law.
Laws 1993 H.B. 346; now in ch. 487 RSMo.
Family Court Administrative Judge
Judge Justine Del Muro earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences and Psychology at UMKC in 1978. She earned her Juris Doctor in 1984 at the UMKC School of Law. She was appointed a Circuit Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit in 1993.
Prior to her appointment, Judge Del Muro practiced law at Legal Aid of Western Missouri, the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office and the Popham Law Firm. In 1990, she received the David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award for her appellate briefing and arguments before the State Courts of Appeal. In 1995, she was recognized by the Hispanic Bar Association for her contribution to the legal and Hispanic community. In 2002 she received the Hon. H. Michael Coburn Community Service Award for her voluntary work at Operation Breakthrough. Judge Del Muro is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Hispanic Bar, the Association of Women Lawyers, and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. She continues to be involved in the community as a board member for the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, and LEAP (Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance). She is a school council member for St. Ann’s Catholic School and volunteers her services to children at St. Vincent’s Operation Breakthrough.
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