Family Court Division

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
  • Adoptions/Guardianships
  • All matters involving Chapter 210/211 matters


Domestic Relations

  • 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.

Section 487.080


Want to contact a Judge or Commissioner? Phone numbers and email addresses are listed in the Judicial Biographies Section.