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Thacker v. Thacker

Court of Appeals of Missouri
311 S.W.3d 402 (2010)


Facts

Ms. Thacker (defendant) and Mr. Thacker (plaintiff) met online and began dating in 2005. Ms. Thacker lived in Russia and had two daughters. Ms. Thacker’s life in Russia was difficult. Ms. Thacker had to work two jobs, and her daughters’ father did not contribute to their support. In 2006, Mr. Thacker traveled to Russia to meet Ms. Thacker and her daughters. While in Russia, Mr. Thacker asked Ms. Thacker to marry him. Ms. Thacker agreed, and they began making plans for Ms. Thacker and her daughters to move to the United States. Mr. Thacker wrote a letter to the United States Embassy in Russia to facilitate Ms. Thacker’s getting a visa. Mr. Thacker also submitted an affidavit of support to the Department of Homeland Security, stating his intent to marry Ms. Thacker and adopt her daughters. After they arrived in America, Ms. Thacker and Mr. Thacker were married in March 2008. The Thackers’ marriage was troubled from the start. Ms. Thacker’s youngest daughter alleged that Mr. Thacker touched her inappropriately. As a result, the Missouri Department of Social Services became involved. Ms. Thacker took the advice of the social worker and moved to a shelter with her daughters. Ms. Thacker purchased tickets back to Russia at some point, but never attempted to use them. Mr. Thacker petitioned the court for dissolution of the marriage. Ms. Thacker filed a counter-petition seeking spousal maintenance and child support. Ms. Thacker asserted that there was an express contract between her and Mr. Thacker that he would provide financial support for Ms. Thacker and her daughters. Alternatively, Ms. Thacker argued that she was entitled to financial support for her and her daughters based upon the theory of estoppel. The trial court rejected Ms. Thacker’s arguments and dissolved the marriage. Ms. Thacker appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Mitchell, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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