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Hon. Douglas R. Beach (Ret.)

Hon. Douglas R. Beach (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Governmental & Public Agency
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Douglas R. Beach (Ret.) joined JAMS in 2019 after 13 years of distinguished service with the Missouri judiciary and the family law bench and bar. Judge Beach retired in 2018 from the St. Louis County Circuit Court (21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri), most recently serving as presiding judge.

Judge Beach presided over a family court division for more than 10 years, where he heard numerous cases regarding valuation, custody, domestic violence and spousal support. He is a sought-after lecturer, speaker and author on family law issues, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, having concentrated his private practice and judicial career on family law issues for over 28 years.

Judge Beach believes that there is no tougher, more important or more impactful area of law than family law.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Judge Beach has substantial litigation, judicial and settlement experience in all aspects of family law, including the following:

  • College contribution
  • Contributions and reimbursements between marital and non-marital estates
  • Distribution of assets and debts
  • Family support and maintenance
  • Marital versus non-marital
  • Mediation of property issues followed by binding arbitration of any issues unresolved by the parties (med-arb)
  • Parenting allocation of decision making, time and responsibilities (includes the former custody and visitation concepts)
  • Parenting coordination
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Property
  • Valuations including real estate, businesses and art
  • Visitation

Representative Matters

  • Allocation of parenting matters (decision making, time with each parent and responsibilities) in every sort of situation, including where one or both parents have alcohol, drug or mental health concerns
  • Parenting time where one parent moved child within the state but far enough that it impinged on the other parent’s parenting time
  • Removal of child from state or to an area 25 miles from the other parent
  • Parenting time and responsibilities for children with special needs
  • Date of separation
  • Determination of school that a minor child will attend (and if private school, how it is paid for)
  • Attorneys’ fees dispute between parties
  • Contribution by marital estate to non-marital estate, and vice versa
  • Maintenance in all types of situations
    • One party works
    • Both parties work
    • All lengths of marriages, from under one year to over 30 years
    • Party has special needs
    • Minor children of varying ages
  • Neutral evaluation for divorcing parties on a variety of related issues
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Stock option division (restricted, unrestricted, vested, unvested)
  • Tax issues in divorce
  • Use of expert relative to ability to work and the job market
  • Validity of prenuptial agreements
  • Valuations of medical practice, Subchapter S businesses, artwork, residences, investment properties and dental practice
  • Use of experts, whether neutral or hired by one party
    • Real estate
    • Mental health
    • Children’s issues
    • Tracing accounts
  • Mediation of cases where family law attorney is accused of legal malpractice
  • Custody disputes between same-sex partners

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS
  • Recipient, Roger P. Krumm Family Law Award, Missouri Bar Association, 2018
  • Recipient, Dudley C. Dunlop Distinguished Service Award, St. Louis County Bar Association, 2013
  • Recipient, Distinguished Service Award, National Center for State Courts, 2018
  • Recipient, The Honorable Tom C. Clark Award, National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers, 2018
  • President, National Association for Presiding Judges and Executive Officers, 2018
  • Fellow and Past President, Missouri Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1986–Present
  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, 1991–2005
  • Past President and Former Chair of the Family Law Section, Saint Louis County Bar Association
  • Member, Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis
  • Member, Hispanic Bar Association of St. Louis
  • Member, Lawyers Association of St. Louis
  • Board Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2012–2017
  • Board Member, Children's Home Society/FamilyForward
  • Past Member, Program Committee;
  • Recipient, Champion of Kids Award; Kids in the Middle
  • Honoree, Legal Advocates for Abused Women, Crime Victim Advocacy Center
  • Founding Judicial Officer, Veterans Treatment Courts, St. Louis County
  • Adjunct Professor, Business Law, University College (St. Louis), 1977–1988
  • Author, Trial Practice in Domestic Relations
  • Author, Division of Marital Property in Missouri
  • Former Co-Chair, Domestic Violence Council of St. Louis County
  • Delegate to Mexico, U.S. State Department cultural exchange on issues involving domestic violence against women
  • Founding Member, St. Louis County Veterans Treatment Court, 2015
  • Recipient, Ellen Cowell Leadership Award, Missouri Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 2018
  • Former Elder, Bonhomme Presbyterian Church

Admissions and Certifications

  • Certified Matrimonial Arbitrator
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri

Background and Education

  • Independent Arbitrator/Mediator, 2018–2019
    • Parenting Coordinator, Family Law, St. Louis County Circuit Court
    • Supreme Court Monitor, Supervision of 77 Divisions in St. Louis County, 2018–2019
  • Judge, St. Louis County Circuit Court, 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri
    • Presiding Judge, 2017–2018
    • Judge, Family Court, 2010–2018
    • Associate Judge, Family Court, 2005–2010
  • City Attorney; Chesterfield, Missouri; 1988–2005
  • Original Incorporator, City of Chesterfield, 1988
  • Attorney, Private Practice, St. Louis, 1977–2005
  • Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps, 1973–2002
    • Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer
    • Special Courts-Martial Judge, 1976–1977
  • J.D., cum laude, New England School of Law, 1973
  • B.S., Social Sciences, Central Connecticut State University, 1970


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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