Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Missouri’s child support statute provides that, to qualify for post-majority educational support, the child must submit to the parents a school transcript at the beginning of each semester. In this case, the judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals exchanged lengthy dissertations on the meaning of the phrase “at the beginning” – with the dissent arguing that the phrase must meet before or on the first day of classes, while the majority contemplates a more flexible case-by-case determination of whether the requirement is met. With a subtextual debate over Proust and Churchill’s value as sources for interpreting legislative meaning, the case is a lively reminder that much of family law advocacy requires highly refined skills of statutory construction.
Owsley v. Brittain, 2006 Mo. App. LEXIS 148 (February 7, 2006)
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