If you are considering filing for divorce in Missouri, there are some important things that you need to know about before you begin the process. Understanding how a divorce petition works and what is required can expedite the process and minimize problems that can arise unexpectedly. Hiring an experienced Missouri divorce attorney is the best option to ensure that your divorce is handled properly and that you walk away with the best possible settlement to start your life again. At the Johnson Law Firm, our team of dedicated legal professionals is ready to talk to you about filing for divorce and the wide range of legal services we offer our clients in the St. Peters area. Call or contact us today to learn more.
The first step in a Missouri divorce is ensuring that you meet the residency requirement to file. Missouri law requires that either you or your spouse has been a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. As a no-fault state, a spouse filing for divorce can simply state for grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order to proceed with the petition.
Your attorney can fill out a petition for dissolution of marriage and file it with the county court where you or your spouse resides along with the payment of a filing fee. Notice must then be served to the other spouse, which can be done in person if their whereabouts are known or by publication in the local newspaper if their location is unknown. The spouse being served has an opportunity to answer the petition and identify any contested issues with the court.
While there are many issues that can arise during divorce negotiations, some matters are litigated more often than others. Property distribution is almost always a negotiation between spouses. As an equitable distribution state, the law requires that all marital assets and debts be split equitably, but not necessarily equally, between spouses. Spousal support is another major issue for consideration, where the higher earning spouse financially supports the lesser earning spouse during and after the marriage.
If there are minor children involved, child custody and child support are also important issues that must either be litigated in court or negotiated in an alternative dispute resolution setting. The court will require that the parents fill out a parenting plan as part of the divorce decree in order for it to be finalized in a Missouri court. The parenting plan contains all aspects of physical and legal custody, visitation, and support for the parents and child along with any other requests or requirements specific to your family.
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable Missouri divorce attorney about starting the process of divorce, call the office or contact us today at the Johnson Law Firm to schedule a consultation.
The Johnson Law Firm, LLC, can answer your questions about what our legal practices. Contact us for a free consultation. We are located in St. Charles and serve the surrounding areas of Missouri.