While I generally recommend the Uncontested Divorce option to amenable parties, it is not the right option for everyone. At Haefner Law Office, our St. Louis divorce lawyers know better than most that sometimes you need knowledgeable, aggressive representation to protect you and your family.
But if what is listed above is not 100% agreed upon, then you have a contested matter. That does not necessarily mean that you will have to have a trial, but it does mean that your attorney needs to proceed as though that is a possible outcome and plan accordingly.
Attorneys draft things with an end in mind.
When I am dealing with an uncontested divorce case, I draft documents in the least confrontational way possible as my only goal is to get this across the finish line with as little fuss as possible.
When I draft contested things, the rule is that you cannot get what you do not ask for, so we ask for everything that may be put before the Court.
I am always mindful that we will hopefully settle the case, but am ready to proceed to trial if necessary. You also need to get educated on the process, and I strongly recommend you read my book, Exit Strategy (free copies are mailed out or can be downloaded at FlatRateDivorces.com).
Whether or not you have a contested or uncontested divorce, it is going to be stressful and emotions are going to run high. Do not make impulsive decisions, settle for terms you will regret, or fight for things that really don’t matter.
Related: The difference between uncontested, contested, and mediated divorces
Your attorney is a good guide on some of these things, but a therapist is usually better equipped to handle the emotional fallout.
An uncontested divorce means there is at least one matter involved in the divorce that can not be agreed upon. In some cases, there are no matters that not contested. In these cases, you have two options: you can either hire an attorney for divorce mediation services or you can hire an attorney to represent you.
From there, they will attempt to negotiate with your ex-spouse’s attorney. They will then go back and forth with offers and counter offers. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will be brought to court and decided upon by a judge.
Property division focuses on the assets shared between the two parties. This is about who gets what, who pays what, and what happens to all the tangible things in your life, including maintenance (formerly known as alimony), child support (if applicable), debts, and retirement accounts.
Everything you own may be at stake. Divorce law is constantly changing, and an expert will ensure that you have sure you have every opportunity to a fair and equitable result.
You don’t want an Order that you cannot afford to maintain. If that happens, you’ll be back in court on a Contempt Motion, which can lead to more attorney fees, court appearances, and possible jail time.
In any case, the best interests of your children should always be the top priority. Your attorney should join you as an advocate for the needs of your children during and beyond the divorce process. Child custody settlements can affect where and how your children grow up and, in turn, how they come to live their own lives.
Haefner Law Office knows how to protect your children in court. Family law has remained our utmost priority in all proceedings since day one. While a settlement is always preferred, we advise strongly against agreeing to parenting plans that you don’t want.
To avoid an unhappy party filing a Motion to Modify in the later years, we will work with you to pursue the best and most tangible parenting plan for your family, even if it may mean going to trial. Whether settlement or trial, we’ll fight for you each step of the way.
Divorce is one of the most stressful and difficult experiences to overcome. Bills shouldn’t be the added stress to a frustrating situation. Haefner Law Office’s affordable flat rate divorce fee schedule offers affordable, flexible payment options that place control in the hands of our clients.
With a flat-rate contested divorce, families can order only the services they want, like filing legal paperwork or litigation. Clients don’t pay for any services they don’t need or use, saving money and time overall.
Resource: How Much Does a Divorce Cost?
Mark Haefner is a divorce attorney serving the St. Louis, Missouri, including St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and St. Charles County. With our Haefner Law Office team, Mark has represented hundreds of families undergoing contested divorce matters. We know that no two cases are exactly alike, so we pursue litigation that reflects the unique needs and interests.
Any family resolving a contested divorce must have confidence in the firm and attorney of their choice. Your attorney should always consider your best interests and never their pocketbooks. At Haefner
In addition to advice and guidance, we offer a collection of resources to help guide you through the contested divorce process in Missouri, like our e-book and critical documentation.
Contact Haefner Law Office at (314) 200-6101 for more information on contested divorces in St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri. We’ll determine if a contested divorce is right for you and your family with a free consultation.
Thank you for your consideration during this difficult time, and we hope to hear from you soon.