ABOUT Benner law

Sometimes real people can find themselves in really complicated situations when it comes to their marriage or children. When this happens, you need someone to guide you who has been there before, understands the rules, and has your family’s best interest at heart. You want competence, compassion and results. My firm deals exclusively with family law cases in mid-Missouri. This specialized focus gives me the expertise needed to fight aggressively for my clients and find innovative approaches to resolve family law conflicts compassionately. When your family’s future is on the line, you deserve nothing less.

 
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I practice exclusively in family law

Family law is a complicated, ever-evolving area of law. My experience in divorce and family law allows me to identify issues and defenses in your case.

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The importance of family

I understand the anxiety a family law case can bring.  I work hard on your behalf to protect your rights, your children, and your finances. 

 
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Client service is my first priority

I want to be available and accessible to provide you with support each step of the way, and I will ensure that your phone calls, emails, or text messages get returned within one business day.

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Home Court Advantage

Every court has its own way of operating. My firm only represents clients in Boone County, Callaway County, Randolph County, Howard County, and Cooper County, which allows me to have an in-depth understanding of each court’s procedures.

Adoption, IFV & Surrogacy

If you are exploring the adoption, IVF, or surrogacy process, I can help navigate the laws and regulations around the family planning process in Missouri. I believe it is important for a legal professional to guide the process with an objective, yet compassionate perspective. You and your family are important and should be well represented to ensure nothing stands between you and your ability to welcome home a new family member. My firm has experience guiding families through the adoption and family planning process. I am here to help.

Attorney for a Child

I have represented many children in family law cases. In Missouri, family law judges  can appoint an attorney to represent a child, called a Guardian ad Litem. These attorneys protect a child’s rights when the child is stuck between warring parents, or when a child has been abused or neglected.

Child Support

If you have a child with someone you are no longer in a relationship with, there may be custody, parenting time and child support issues. Child support is ordered in divorces and in cases where parties were never married if they no longer reside together.  A parent with less than half of the annual overnights or the parent with the higher income is usually required to pay child support until the child is 18 or 21, depending on whether the child attends college.

Child Custody and Parenting Time

Feelings can run very high in legal matters involving child custody and your rights as a parent. An experienced representative can help you achieve the most favorable result possible in the best interest of your child.

Contempt

Contempt of court is a procedure that is available to enforce a court order when someone knows what they are ordered to do, is able to comply, but chooses not to comply.

Divorce

Ending a marriage can be complicated and emotionally troubling. I can help you with the intricacies of divorce filing, property division, child custody, child support, and alimony.

Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection

Legal issues involving domestic violence can be some of the most complicated and emotionally exhausting. If you’ve experienced domestic violence or been accused of it, you need a specialized attorney to help you proceed in the safest manner possible.

Fathers’ Rights

Many men going to through a family law case have concerns about preferential treatment toward mothers. Missouri judges cannot give preference to either parents based upon his or her gender. My firm can help you make sure your rights are protected.

Guardianships

Establishing a guardianship is an important step in aiding family members who cannot provide their own legal guidance. However, the process can be complicated and often involves a hearing. Let my firm help you through the process.

Grandparents’ Rights

In Missouri, grandparents are allowed reasonable visitation rights if certain requirements are met. Contact me to discuss whether you meet the requirements for court-ordered visitation rights.

Military Divorce

Unique issues arise when military families divorce. I have experience working with military families to explore all of your options, contact the proper military authorities, and to fight for a fair resolution.

Modification

Changes in income or other circumstances may require you to modify your parenting plan or child support order. I understand the nuances of Missouri law and can advise you on how to request a modification or try to prevent a modification.

Legal Name Change

If you want to change your name, you may be overwhelmed to realize that the process involves numerous documents and a court hearing. I am knowledgeable and can guide you through the process.

Legal Separation

In some circumstances, a legal separation is a better option for couples instead of divorce. I have a firm grasp of the difference and can help you decide which choice is best for your unique situation.

Paternity

Determining the parentage of a child is extremely important. I can help you establish the truth and fight for your rights to ensure your child has proper support and care.

Prenuptial Agreements

It’s more common today for people to marry after establishing their careers, or after they have already been married before. It can be a good idea for a number of reasons to negotiate a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse to protect both of you in the event of a divorce.

Relocation or Moving with Children Following Court Order

A Missouri court order of child custody requires that a very specific process be followed before a parent can relocate with their child or children. If the other parent of your child wants to relocate, you have rights to custody that need to be protected. I can assist with sorting out how the law affects proposed relocations.

Same-Sex Marriage Issues

Although same-sex marriages are now legal in Missouri, there are issues that arise due to the prior ambiguity in the law. I can help explain how the changing laws may or may not have affected your rights to marriage or divorce.

Surrogacy Agreements

Surrogacy agreements are permitted in Missouri. However, the non-biological parent may be required to go through adoption proceedings or other legal procedures to ensure that the birth certificate accurately reflects the child’s intended parentage. I have helped many people in preparing surrogacy agreements and ensuring that the agreements are honored by the court and the state.

Uncontested Divorces

Divorce can be simple. Many times people try to file an uncontested divorce without an attorney only to discover that they are not able to understand the process and procedures. I can provide as much or as little help as is necessary to help you finalize your uncontested divorce as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Find me

My office is located at 29 South 9th Street, Suite 211, Columbia, Missouri, which is above Kaldi's Coffee.

Please note that this office that is only staffed by appointment only.

Phone: 573-990-8911

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Who is Tana Benner

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Tana Benner is an attorney and founder of Benner Law. She has worked exclusively in family law matters for more than a decade. She started her legal career by serving as the court-appointed guardian ad litem in child order-of-protection cases, many involving cases of abuse and neglect. From this experience, she gained an uncommon perspective on the legal issues involving children and the importance of compassionate legal guidance.

From this beginning, Benner has grown her practice to encompass a wide set of legal challenges families face. She focuses especially on adoption law, custody cases, and guardian ad litem work. She represents parents and children in cases of divorce, custody modification, child support, and guardianship cases in probate court.

In law school, Benner was a member of the Missouri Environmental Law & Policy Review and was published in the journal for her note, "Waving Good-Bye to Environmental Laws." She was selected to participate in the Family Violence Clinic at the University of Missouri where she represented victims of domestic violence under the supervision of Professor Mary M. Beck. Currently, she is a member of the Missouri Bar, the Boone County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Women's Network through the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and Emerging Professionals in Columbia. She lives in Columbia with her husband, Nicholas, and their son, Cohen.

     

    Areas of Practice:

    • Family law
    • Domestic violence
    • Adult abuse
    • Custody cases
    • Adoption law

    Certified legal specialties:

    • ABA-approved paralegal certificate, Denver Paralegal Institute
    • Missouri Guardian ad Litem

    Bar Admissions:

    • Missouri, 2010

    Education:

    • Juris doctorate, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, Columbia, Missouri, 2009
    • Bachelor of Arts, English, University of Northern Colorado, 2001

    Professional Service:

    • Law Review: Missouri Environmental Law & Policy Review, Associate
    • Law Review: Waving Good-Bye to Environmental Laws, Law Review Note

    Professional Associations and Memberships:

    • Missouri Bar Association, Member
    • Boone County Bar Association, Member
    • American Bar Association, Member

    Past Employment:

    • Legal assistant, 2003–2004, Birk & Birk, Jasper, Indiana
    • Paralegal, 2004–2005, Dague & Buck, Muncie, Indiana

    Pay your Attorney Fees Online

    As a courtesy to my clients, I offer online payments through LawPay. LawPay is a secure payment system that is compliant with all card brand security standards, ensuring protection of your personal information. 

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