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Jennifer L. Rench

Jennifer L. Rench

J. Rench Law Firm LLC | St. Louis Divorce and Mediation
  • Divorce, Family Law, Arbitration & Mediation
  • Missouri
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Summary

Jennifer L. Rench is a family law attorney and owner of J. Rench Law Firm, LLC | St. Louis Divorce and Mediation. Her law firm helps clients through divorce by offering divorce mediation services, collaborative divorce services, and divorce representation.

Her philosophy is to help clients resolve legal matters in the most effective way possible. She accomplishes this through communication, collaboration, interest-based negotiations, and other progressive strategies. Her values center on understanding her clients’ needs and meeting those needs using her legal experience and problem solving skills. While she has served in other areas of law, family law is especially fulfilling for Jennifer. She is particularly driven to create practical family-focused solutions for clients with children. Jennifer’s aim with every client is to ease high-conflict situations by developing well-informed solutions, while also protecting the rights of her clients. Her other aim is to educate her clients in order to bring clarity and understanding to a complex situation. She has extensive experience helping clients identify issues and negotiate agreements. Jennifer is a passionate supporter of the Collaborative Family Law Association, volunteering her experience and skills to help educate the public about a variety of divorce options, such as divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, and other alternative divorce resolution processes.

Practice Areas
  • Divorce
  • Family Law
  • Arbitration & Mediation
Additional Practice Areas
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Collaborative Divorce
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    Consultation appointments can be made through our website at www.stldivorceandmediation.com or by calling the office at 314-725-4000.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    Visa, MasterCard, and Discover
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Missouri
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Federal Circuit
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Attorney/Owner
J. Rench Law Firm LLC | St. Louis Divorce and Mediation
- Current
Law firm focusing on divorce, divorce mediation and collaborative divorce in St. Louis, Missouri.
Attorney/Owner
Fortis Law Firm, LLC
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Attorney/Owner
Greene & Taylor, LLC
-
Attorney
Fireman's Fund
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Legal Assistant
Klar, Izsak & Stenger, LLC
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Education
Saint Louis University
J.D. (2008) | Law
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Saint Louis University
B.A. (2005) | Accounting
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Professional Associations
Collaborative Family Law Association
Chair of Public Relations Committee
- Current
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Collaborative Family Law Association
Board Member
- Current
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International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
Member
- Current
Activities: IACP is the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, an international community of legal, mental health and financial professionals working in concert to create client-centered processes for resolving conflict.
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Collaborative Family Law Association
Member
- Current
Activities: The Collaborative Family Law Association (CFLA) is a not-for-profit organization of independent, unaffiliated, attorneys, mental health, and financial professionals, committed to resolving family disputes through a non-adversarial process known as Collaborative Practice. CFLA offers a network of specially trained professionals to assist divorcing couples find their own solutions for their family’s future.
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The Missouri Bar # 61083
Member
- Current
Activities: The Missouri Bar was created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri. Its mission is to improve the legal profession, the administration of justice and the law on behalf of the public. Through educational programs, publications, and more, The Missouri Bar serves as a valuable resource for members—and for the citizens of Missouri.
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Publications
Articles & Publications
Adult Adoptees Can Now Discover Their Birth Parents
J. Rench Law Firm LLC | St. Louis Divorce and Mediation
Speaking Engagements
Discussion of Changes to IACP Ethics Code, Clayton, MO
Collaborative Family Law Association
Divorce Public Education Seminar, St. Louis County Public Library, St. Louis, MO
Collaborative Family Law Association
Divorce Public Education Seminar, St. Louis County Public Library, St. Louis, MO
Collaborative Family Law Association
Divorce Public Education Seminar, St. Louis County Public Library, St. Louis, MO
Collaborative Family Law Association
Divorce: A Better Way. A Different Way, Saint Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, MO
Saint Louis University School of Law
Video Demonstration and Facilitated Discussion of an Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law Process, Creve Coeur, MO
Collaborative Family Law Association
Legal Answers
22 Questions Answered

Q. Custodial parent will not terminate CS even though child lives with us. Do we have options?
A: To clarify, I am going to assume that the "we" you are referring to is the child's father and maybe his now significant other? While I prefer Mom and Dad to be able to recognize that there is an issue that needs to be resolved and be able to work out the best way to resolve it by agreement, it may not be possible. There are a couple issues that would dictate the best way to handle this: If the child is close to 18 and will not be attending college full time, the support provisions terminate on her 18th birthday unless your parenting plan says otherwise or there is some exception under the law that applies to your situation. That is statutory and no further action is needed. However, if child support is being withheld via a wage withholding then that is an issue to deal with. And depending on the practices of the court in your area, your judge may not want to terminate the child support order or withholding until they know for sure that the child will not enroll in college by waiting until October 1st since that is the statutory deadline for enrollment. This really depends on your facts, the cooperation of your x-spouse (you may not have that here), and the judge. The custody provisions of the parenting plan don't apply once she turns 18 either. If she just turned 17, then you may want to call an attorney to see what can be done for the next year. You also mentioned arrears. This is tricky too. A court order cannot retroactively modify a child support order. It can only modify a court order for child support going forward. This means that if you are in need of a modification you should file it ASAP (preferably after you get the advice of a child support lawyer). But depending on if you have had your daughter for 30 consecutive nights, you may be able to get periods of child support abated. Depending on how much in arrears you are, it may be beneficial to pay an attorney to try and help you grapple with this. This situation tends to be so fact specific and you really need to get the advice a Missouri child support attorney. If you are in St. Louis County or a nearby surrounding county, feel free to call my office at 314-725-4000. Good luck!
Q. Does inherited property get split in a divorce?
A: Property that is inherited by one spouse - even during the marriage - is specifically excluded from what is defined as "marital property" in Missouri and is not subject to division. However, this isn't usually the end of the conversation. It is possible to convert separate (non-marital) property, or even just a portion of the separate property, to marital property and this is dependent on what has happened with the property since you acquired it. When you inherited it, how did you title the property? Have you invested marital money into the property? Is there a loan on the property that you have paid with marital money? Have you made improvements to the property with marital money? There are lots of other questions an attorney would ask to see if the property remained separate. Your attorney should also be asking if the properties that you inherited are income producing. Missouri courts have also held that income earned during the marriage is marital, even if it is income earned from separate property. This may not affect the division of the property itself, but it is something I find that clients don't realize and it can play into the overall financial picture of a case. I would strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney in your area. If you will be filing divorce in St. Louis, St. Charles or the surrounding areas feel free to call me at 314-725-4000.
Q. If both parties on child support order deicied they want court order terminated what do they have too do?
A: There are different ways to terminate child support, depending on the reason. Child support automatically terminates when a child reaches the age of 18, unless they are in school full time or some other exception in the statute applies. If that is the case - there is nothing further you need to do for the 18 and 19-year-old. If child support is being taken out of your paycheck via wage withholding, you may need to file an amended income withholding order to get the amount withheld adjusted to what it should be for 1 child. You will want to do that ASAP. For the 16-year-old - or if either of the other two children are still entitled to child support because they are still in school full time or for some other reason - you will need to file a Motion to Modify. If you and their mother agree to modify the child support order to $0, you still have to file a formal request to modify the current order but it can be a smooth process. A court order is required to change an existing court order for child support and the court order cannot be applied retroactively (i.e. back dated). So I would encourage you to find an attorney in your area and have them file a motion to modify immediately to stop future child support from incurring sooner. I have had clients that waited months or years and then were saddened to hear that a modification of child support doesn't date back to when the living arrangements change, but instead it dates back to when the request for the change is actually filed or when the other parent is served. Some courts won't date them back until certain financial statements are filed in court. The rules that apply to you are going to be specific to the court you need to file in. The timing of all of this can get tricky! I would highly encourage you to consult with an attorney that handles these in your area.
Q. Father moved out of state almost 4 years ago...child, 16, now states he want to move too.
A: As an attorney, I think there are lots of questions I would ask you before being able to really get an opinion. But before you jump into analyzing the custody factors, in a motion to modify you have to start with whether or not he can get his foot in the door - so to speak. The "8 factor test" refers to the 8 factors the court must consider when determining custody of a child found in 452.375 RSMo. But once custody is determined (as in your case), then the parent asking for a change must first show that he or she is entitled to a modification under 452.410 RSMo. To start, you said that Father filed a motion to modify stating he should be compensation for lost time. What are the current arrangements and what is he asking for - specifically? In a motion to modify, the analysis of whether or not he is entitled to ask for a change would be very different depending on whether you currently had joint physical custody or if you had sole physical custody, and if he is asking to change from sole to joint or if he is just asking to change the schedule. Your question sounds like he is asking for a bit more than just a bit of make up time, but without knowing the answers to the questions above (and more that I would probably ask after finding out the answers to the above), it would be difficult to give an opinion given only this information. All the best! If you are in the St. Louis area, feel free to contact me.
Q. If I am reading this right, when I child turns 18 support will stop until they go to college?
A: If I understand, you are trying to determine when child support stops if your child continues on to college. The timing of events is really crucial to give an accurate answer, but if the scenario is that your child graduates high school or completes a GED program, turns 18 but will be going on to college, then your child has until October 1st following graduation to enroll in at least 12 hours of credit for each college semester. Turning 18 won't by itself terminate child support in that situation as the law gives them a little time to enroll in college. And then there are all kinds of things that must happen in order for support to continue. The variations of that are really too much to contemplate without more facts, but a family law attorney in your area would be able to help you figure this out. Also, terminating a current order is not dependent on whether or not arrears are owed. In fact, one of the most critical mistakes that I see happen is that parents that pay child support fail to rightfully terminate an order and the court cannot retroactively terminate the order, so current support continues to accrue. If you believe that a child support order should be terminated, you should seek legal advice quickly.
Q. What does it mean for a child to primarily reside in each parents custody?
A: This is not as easy of a question to answer as it sounds. The Form 14 is one page, however there a is a 40-page document that accompanies this form titled "DIRECTIONS, COMMENTS FOR USE AND EXAMPLES FOR COMPLETION OF FORM NO. 14". There are also relevant cases in Missouri that specifically talks about the application of a credit on Line 2c. To give you some direction, the excerpt that guides us regarding the Line 2c credit are as follows: Line 2c: Adjustment to gross income for other children primarily residing with a parent DIRECTION: Enter the monthly amount of the support obligation of the parent for any children primarily residing in his or her custody and not the subject of this proceeding. The amount of the adjustment is the amount in the schedule of basic child support obligations that represents that parent’s support obligation based only on that parent’s gross income and without any adjustment for other children for whom that parent is responsible. CAVEAT: The adjustment for a child for whom there is an existing court or administrative order shall be reduced by the amount that is actually being paid in current support payments. An adjustment is appropriate in a proceeding to establish a child support order or to modify the support payable under an existing order. The adjustment is available for the parent’s natural and adopted children but not the parent’s stepchildren. (1) In any action to decrease child support, a parent obligated to pay support shall not be entitled to a line 2(c) credit for children born to or adopted by the parent obligated to pay support after the entry of the current order. However, the parent obligated to pay support will be allowed a line 2(c) credit for children that have remained primarily residing with the parent obligated to pay support from prior to the existing order. (2) In any action to increase child support, a parent obligated to pay support shall be entitled to a line 2(c) credit for children born to or adopted by the parent obligated to pay support after the entry of the current order. However, the use of the credit alone cannot act to reduce the current support amount in the action in question. A. COMMENT: Children are primarily residing in a parent's custody though living away from the parent to attend school.
Q. My daughter's father says he will not let her move out of state with me to pursue my Master's degree. What can I do?
A: The answer is complicated and very fact driven. Missouri laws address the relocation of a child, but it discusses your obligations as the proposed moving parent in terms of giving notice to "any party with custody or visitation rights." Since your question referred to "unordered child support" I assume that Father's custody rights have not been adjudicated either. That is going to be a problem for him when he tries to prevent a move, but of course it doesn't prevent him from now filing suit in court to get court order custody or visitation rights. However, sometimes the best approach is to see what agreements can be made so that you can accomplish your goals and your child can still see her Father. Even though he is saying he will never let you move out of state, neither one of you can probably make that decision until you both gather more information about your rights, obligations and possible options. I suggest consulting with a family law attorney so that he or she can gather more facts, review your options and help you proceed in the best way that will keep the conflict low.
Q. My sons father hasn't contacted me in almost a year about our son. Can I file for abandonment?
A: There isn't a cause of action called abandonment, but abandoning a child can be part of a claim form some specific relief. It seems like more information is needed. What are you trying to accomplish? Getting child support from your son's father? Having another person adopt your child? If he isn't on the birth certificate and hasn't otherwise been found by a court or the state to be the father of this child, then he doesn't have rights as the legal father. What is it you are seeking to do?
Q. In my divorce case I wasn't given credit for overnight visitation on Form 14.
A: There are situations in which the overnight visitation credit may be rebutted or not given. For example, the overnight visitation credit will not be allowed (with certain exceptions) unless the adjusted monthly gross income of the parent receiving support exceeds a minimum set amount of income. Also the line 11 credit can be lowered if the parent paying support doesn't actually exercise the overnight visitation or custody or doesn't incur significant expenses as a result of exercising the overnight periods. It is possible that your attorney was saying the judge doesn't give credit for overnight visitation given your facts, but without knowing all of the relevant facts it would be impossible to determine what is true. It may be helpful to ask your attorney to explain his or her comment. All the best!
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200 S. Bemiston Ave
Suite 310
St. Louis, MO 63105
USA
Telephone: (314) 725-4000
Fax: (314) 725-4001