Filing for divorce in Missouri can be a simple or complicated process, depending on the situation and circumstances of the divorce. Things like the who is filing for divorce and why, the division of assets and property, and whether or not children are involved can complicate and lengthen the process of a divorce case. This article briefly explains Missouri’s laws regarding divorce along with, how to file for divorce, types of divorce and how a divorce attorney in Springfield, MO can provide you with sound legal advice throughout the entire process.
This information should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
If you are seeking legitimate legal assistance for divorce in Springfield, contact Missouri Legal to schedule a free consultation where we will be able to answer any questions and provide you with a specific legal solution for your case.
Missouri’s Divorce Laws
Each state has different laws pertaining to divorce in terms of residency, grounds for divorce, and waiting periods; Missouri is no different. When a person files for divorce, this person is called the petitioner or plaintiff while the person to whom the divorced papers are submitted is called the respondent or defendant in divorce court. Divorce in Missouri is also legally referred to as the “dissolution of marriage.”The process of divorce covers such matters as the division of property, child and spousal support as well as child custody.
Missouri Divorce laws that you should be aware of, whether you are the petitioner or the respondent in a divorce case include:
- Grounds For Divorce – Missouri is a no-fault state, which means that it is only essential to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken to move forward with a divorce. If one of the parties denies this, a Springfield divorce lawyer will have to prove the grounds for divorce to the court, such as adultery or abandonment. A more in-depth look at potential grounds for divorce in Missouri can be found here.
- Residency Requirements – One or both parties entering into divorce must have been a resident of Missouri for at least the last 90 days.
- Waiting Period – Final when entered, but subject to appeal.
How To File For Divorce in Missouri
There a couple of different routes to follow when filing for divorce in Missouri. You can either choose to represent yourself or hire a Springfield, MO divorce attorney to ensure that your rights are served throughout the entire process.
If you plan on representing yourself, you’ll need to complete a “litigant awareness program” by reading or watching the materials online. Next, you’ll need to file a petition for the dissolution of marriage. These forms can be found here. Depending on the type of divorce you’re going through, representing yourself may be a mistake.
If you decide to utilize the legal advice of a divorce attorney, they will help fill out all of the necessary paperwork for you and answer any questions you may have.
As this article states, When the petition, along with the “Confidential Case Filing Information Sheet” is completed, the paperwork will be filed in the circuit court of his or her county.
At the time of the filing, the petitioner will be required to pay a filing fee or request a fee waiver.
Types of Divorce In Missouri
In Missouri, there are two different types of divorce, contested and uncontested:
- Contested Divorce – Contested divorce is the term given to the kind of divorce where both parties cannot agree on major aspects of the divorce such as child custody, support, division of property, alimony, etc. Contested divorce cases are often longer and more complicated than uncontested divorce proceedings. This type of divorce requires the legal advice of an experienced divorce attorney in Springfield, MO, in order to make sure their client’s voice is heard and to expedite the process.
- Uncontested Divorce – Uncontested divorce proceedings are when both the petitioner and the respondent agree entirely on the crucial significant issues of the divorce. If there is little to no property involved and no children, you may be able to represent yourself. Additionally, both spouses can file a joint divorce petition as well as a copy of their written agreement. Occasionally, even if a couple is planning on filing together, they may hire a divorce lawyer to complete all the necessary paperwork for them. Filing a joint divorce petition is the fastest divorce option since it sidesteps the process and skips to a final hearing from the circuit court judge.
Regardless of the type of divorce, you are filing, it’s always best to at least get a second opinion from a qualified divorce attorney in Springfield, MO, even if that means you and your spouse should seek counseling rather than filing for divorce. A divorce attorney can help to explain your rights, negotiate the outcome of your divorce, prepare and properly file the required documents, etc. If you have any questions or need legal advice for your divorce, call Missouri Legal today. We have helped hundreds of people get their life back on track and have assisted them in creating a fresh start through a divorce.