Each state has its own rules and ways of calculating how child support should be determined during a divorce. Missouri has guidelines for calculating child support obligations, although a departure from the guidelines may be possible in some cases. Should circumstances change substantially after a divorce is final, a family court may modify a child support obligation when appropriate proof of the change in circumstances is presented in court.

A story from the East Coast (with a tie to the West Coast) involves allegations that a woman hid assets during her divorce from her husband that may not only eventually impact the child support issue, but the property division settlement from the couple’s divorce.

The couple had two children together when the woman filed for divorce several years ago. A few months before she filed for divorce, she went to California, according to a recent lawsuit. Her now ex-husband says that when she took that trip she claimed that she was heading west to visit her brother. But, the man says that he has learned that the real reason she traveled to California was to meet with her first husband and some people associated with Twitter.

The couple divorced in 2007. The man was ordered to pay child support, and the property settlement apparently did not involve any mention of Twitter. But, the man says that before the initial court papers were filed in the couple’s divorce, the woman had invested in Twitter after meeting with her first husband out west.

The woman’s second husband claims that after Twitter went public, the woman’s investment grew in worth to somewhere between $10 and $50 Million. He says that because the investment was made with marital funds (then undisclosed), he is entitled to a share of its present value. He is also suing to recover some of the child support that he has already paid because the calculations were made using false financial data, according to his lawsuit. Notably, the claims are not governed under Missouri law.

Columbia, Missouri, area residents who seek divorce may, at times, be concerned that a spouse may be hiding assets to unfairly gain more of the marital estate than the law would find reasonable. These fears should be brought to the attention of a family law attorney who may be able to investigate for potential hidden assets.

Source: New York Daily News, “Twitter investor hid earnings from Brooklyn husband while seeking child support: suit,” Barbara Ross and Corinne Lestch, Nov. 27, 2013