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  • Feb 20th, 2022

    The Most Commonly Asked Questions about Divorce in Missouri

    Divorce, Divorce Preparation, Divorce Process

    Questions and Answers from a Missouri Divorce Attorney

    Divorce is one of the most challenging experiences a person can go through.

    It can be emotionally, financially and legally complex, making it difficult to know where to start. Knowing the right questions to ask your divorce attorney can help you make informed decisions and receive the best legal advice.

    This article will provide an overview of the divorce process and discuss the essential questions you should ask your divorce attorney in Missouri.

    Before filing for a divorce, learn as much as possible about the process and prepare yourself for the various steps. Here are answers to some of your most important questions about divorce in Missouri.

    Given the complexity of the divorce process, it is important to seek professional advice.

    An experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout. A divorce attorney can also provide insight into the various options available to you, such as mediation and negotiation, and help you make informed decisions.

    Commonly asked questions and answers regarding divorce in Missouri

    Q: What Is the Most Important Thing to Know About Divorce?

    A: Every case is different, but remember that if you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can compromise on various aspects of the divorce and avoid a contested divorce, the cost, time, and emotional stress will be much less.

    Q: How long will the divorce process take?

    The length of the divorce process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the parties’ ability to reach an agreement. In Missouri, service must be made or waived by the other party at least 30 days before a divorce can be finalized, and the process can take several months or years if the parties are unable to reach an agreement or if the case goes to trial.

    Related: How long does it take to file for divorce in Missouri?

    Q: How Do I Start the Process of a Divorce in Missouri?

    A: The first thing you should do before divorce is discussed your case in detail with an attorney to find out the right plan for you. Typically, the first step is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. You also want to begin developing a parenting plan if you have children together.

    Q: Do I Have to Have Grounds for Divorce?

    A: Years ago, you had to have a “reason” or grounds to obtain a divorce. For example, if your spouse cheated or abandoned you, these would be considered grounds for divorce. Now, Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, meaning neither party has to take “blame” for the dissolution of the marriage. A divorce is usually filed with “irreconcilable differences.”

    Q: Where Will My Divorce Be Filed?

    A: First, before you can file for divorce in Missouri, you must have been a resident in the state for at least 90 days before the initial filing. Your divorce will be filed at the courthouse in the county in that you reside in.

    Q: Do I Really Need a Divorce Lawyer?

    A: Many people think they can go through DIY divorces, especially if they have an uncontested divorce. However, this rarely ends up meeting the needs of the divorcing couple. By having an attorney on your side, you can ensure that your rights are adequately represented at each stage of the divorce, from the initial filing to property division, child custody, and more.

    Q: How Will My Assets be Divided?

    In Missouri, marital property (property acquired during the marriage) is generally divided equitably (fairly) between the parties in a divorce case. This may involve dividing property such as real estate, personal property, and financial assets (such as bank accounts and investments).

    Q: What will happen to my children during my divorce in Missouri?

    If the parties have minor children, they will need to address issues such as child custody (which parent the children will live with) and child support (financial support for the children). The court will consider the best interests of the children when making decisions about these issues.

    Related: What is the difference between Legal and Physical child custody?

    Q: Will I receive alimony (maintenance)?

    Alimony (also known as maintenance) is the financial support that one spouse pays to the other during or after the divorce. The court will consider factors such as the parties’ income and assets, the length of the marriage, and the parties’ standard of living when determining whether to award alimony and the amount of any award.

    Q: How is Debt Divided During Divorce in Missouri?

    In a divorce case, the parties will also need to divide their debts. This may involve allocating responsibility for paying specific debts (such as credit card or mortgage debt) or negotiating a settlement or repayment plan.  Missouri does an equitable division of assets and debts, and that does not always mean equality.

    Important questions to ask your divorce attorney

    There are also many other aspects of your divorce you should consider asking any divorce attorney to whom you speak. The questions below will have an answer specific to your individual case.

    Questions to Ask Regarding Child Custody and Support

    If you have children, it is important to ask your divorce attorney about your rights and responsibilities regarding custody and support. You should ask about the process for determining custody, the types of custody arrangements available, and the laws governing child support in the state of Missouri.

    Questions to Ask Regarding Property Division

    When going through a divorce, you and your spouse must divide your marital property and assets. You should ask your attorney about the laws governing property division in Missouri, the process for determining the division of assets, and the tax implications of each asset.

    Additionally, you should ask about any legal protections available to you in the event of an unequal property division.

    Questions to Ask Regarding Alimony and Spousal Support

    Alimony and spousal support are payments made from one spouse to the other after a divorce. You should ask your attorney about the laws governing alimony and spousal support in Missouri, the factors used to determine the amount of support, and the process for enforcing payment.

    Questions to Ask Regarding Court Proceedings

    If you cannot resolve your divorce through mediation, you may need to go to court.

    You should ask your attorney about the court process, the timeline for a typical divorce case, and the cost of court proceedings. Additionally, you should ask about the steps you can take to prepare for court, such as gathering evidence and witnesses.

    How to find a divorce attorney in Missouri

    Divorce is a difficult process, and having the right questions to ask your divorce attorney can help make the process smoother. This article has provided an overview of the divorce process and discussed the essential questions you should ask your divorce attorney in Missouri. If you are considering divorce, it is important to seek professional advice and find a reliable divorce attorney who can guide you through the process.

    If you are considering filing for divorce in Missouri and have any questions regarding the process, we invite you to contact our experienced divorce attorneys today. We can help you understand your rights and guide you through the divorce process to ensure that your interests are protected.

    When selecting a divorce attorney, it is important to choose one who is experienced in handling divorce cases in Missouri. You should meet with several attorneys to get a better understanding of their experience, their approach to the divorce process, and their fees. Additionally, you should check the attorney’s disciplinary record and read reviews from past clients.

    If you’re considering a divorce or have already begun the process, contact the Haefner Law Office today for compassionate, zealous legal representation. Call now at (314) 200-6101.