Divorce can be a daunting prospect. We have all heard horror stories about how long, drawn out, and expensive the process can be. It is natural to wish you could just ignore the legal part and skip to your new life. However, when it comes to dissolution of a marriage, the only way out is through. Divorce takes time, but the sooner you initiate the proceedings the sooner it will be over. It is also important to understand that all divorces are different, and just because other people have had bad experiences, it does not mean you will.
For some couples, the dissolution process can be swift and collaborative. Even if that is not you, this article will help shed some light on the typical timeline for a divorce in Missouri.
If you would like to talk to a divorce attorney to get a more accurate estimate of exactly how long your specific case will take, contact the Johnson Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.
Understanding How Long a Missouri Divorce Takes: Residency Requirement
When considering divorce in Missouri, it may also be important for you to factor in the timeline, depending on your circumstances. In order to file for divorce in Missouri, your or your spouse must have resided there for at least 90 days. If you are trying to establish residency, it is important that you are taking proactive measures to start the clock.
Understanding How Long a Missouri Divorce Takes: Waiting Period
In Missouri, as in most states, you cannot get a divorce as soon as you file. Rather, filing is just the first step in the process. When you file your dissolution papers it begins the waiting period. In Missouri, the waiting period is 30 days from the time you file. However, it is rare that the court would issue you a date that soon anyway.
Timeline for Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
In an uncontested divorce, spouses have already reached an agreement on all issues that need to be decided in court. In other words, there are no issues left to be contested before the court. This can dramatically expedite the process, and will likely result in the divorce being granted on the court date issued, which may be as soon as 60 days after filing. However, the court schedules and how soon they will hear your case vary based on county and case load.
Additionally, in order for spouses to have agreed upon all issues, they have often undergone mediation, counseling, or work with a lawyer prior to filing the petition to dissolve the marriage. This time spent negotiating and drafting the agreements to submit to the court must also be counted in the timeline.
Timeline for Contested Divorce in Missouri
Contested divorces vary greatly in how long they will take to resolve. The size of the estate, the complexity of the issues, the number and kind of issues that must be resolved, and resources of both spouses, and their relative intentions to collaborate or challenge the proceedings can all greatly affect how long the court proceedings for a divorce ultimately take.
It is rare that a contested case would take less than a year, particularly if there are a large number of assets, or any shared children involved.
Experienced Missouri Divorce Attorney
If you are considering getting a divorce in Missouri, our family law attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.