Frequently Asked Questions - Haefner Law Office
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  • Haefner Divorce Lawyers Saint Louis

    Frequently Asked Divorce & Family Law Questions

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    How is child support calculated?

    Child support is calculated by using Missouri’s Form 14. This form takes into account the monthly gross income of each parent. It also considers the cost of child care and insurance for the child, as well as the number of overnight visits each parent gets.   

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    How long will my case take?

    There are many different factors that go into this answer. Are you and the opposing party in agreement with the terms of the case? Will your case require a hearing? What county are you filing your case in?  The Courts try and get things done within one (1) year, but are often unsuccessful if there are several issues (mainly involving custody).  The soonest you can get divorced in Missouri is 30 days after the Respondent (the other party) is served.  

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    Do I really need a divorce attorney? 

    The simple answer is no, there are forms on the Court's website that will technically work if done correctly.  However, just because you can fix a broken bone with a stick and tape doesn't mean that you should do that.  The documents an attorney will draft will be much better than the self-represent forms, are more comprehensive, and will protect you should there be issues in the future.  Things can also get done much faster and smoother when you have a dedicated family law attorney working on your behalf.  With everything that is at stake, it is worth having an attorney draw up the documents for you if nothing else, even if you represent yourself at the hearings (which are often times not required if you have an attorney).  

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    How do I schedule a consultation?

    Give us a call at 314-200-6101 or fill out this form and someone will contact you in the near future. We will take down some information about your case and get a consultation scheduled.  

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    What information should I gather to prepare for a divorce?

    You should immediately start gathering your last few months of pay stubs, last three years of tax returns, retirement account information, and banking account information.   If you own a home, you will also need the legal description found on the deed of the house.  If this is a contested case, some counties have mandatory documents that need to be gathered and exchanged.    

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    What is the difference between alimony and maintenance? 

    There is not a difference between these two spousal support terms. In Missouri, spousal support is referred to as maintenance.  

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    Do I file for divorce in the state I was married in? 

    No. Generally, you will file the case in the county you are living in.  There are residency requirements in Missouri for jurisdiction (90 days), as well as federal laws pertaining to child custody cases (last place a child lived for 6 consecutive months).

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    How do I start the divorce process? 

    Set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. Give us a call at 314-200-6101 or fill out this form.  

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    How should I determine which attorney to work with? 

    Make sure that the attorney you choose regularly practices family law. The attorney should also be licensed in the state in which you file and practice in the county you will be filing in. All of our attorneys are licensed to practice in Missouri. We practice in St. Louis County, St. Louis City, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, & Jackson County. 

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    I have just been served divorce papers. Now what?

    We recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you do not respond to the petition by the deadline (30 days after service) the other side may be able to default on your case, which means they get mostly whatever they want.  

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    Can I modify the terms of my divorce? 

    Some things you can modify, such as custody and support, upon a showing of a material and continuing change in circumstances.  Once the property is divided and the time has passed to appeal that, you are stuck with it. 

    Contact an Experienced, Dedicated Family Law Attorney Today