Divorce Lawyers in Missouri
Divorces can be emotionally and financially draining. Choose trusted and highly-rated Missouri lawyers who handle divorce cases and will be there for you during the tough times. Masterson Law provides aggressive and compassionate help during your divorce.
1771 S. Fremont
Springfield, MO 65804
Key information on Missouri Divorce: What do you need to know?
Divorce is often referred to as a dissolution of marriage. It is a court judgment that legally ends the marriage and usually divides the marital assets and property. In order to initiate the case, the petitioner must have a “legal reason” and meet the following conditions:
- One of the parties must have been a resident of Missouri for no fewer than ninety days before the filing. The only acceptable exception is if the party is a member of the armed forces and currently serving in Missouri.
- A finalized divorce will only be granted thirty days after the petition has been filed or the spouse has received it. The proceedings will be held either in the petitioner’s or respondent’s county of residence.
Divorce laws in Missouri allow for limited “no-fault” dissolutions. This enables the petitioner to obtain one without providing proof of adultery, abuse, or other wrongdoings. The most popular reason cited is “irreconcilable differences,” although there may be other unconfirmed grounds.
For any legal advice, it is important to consult a skilled attorney, such as Summer Masterson-Goethals of Masterson Law. The right divorce law firm will inspire confidence and help you feel comfortable, as you navigate the important decisions, especially if the property is involved or custody of a child.
How Can Missouri Divorce Attorneys Help?
Lawyers who handle divorce in Missouri assist those individuals seeking a legal separation from their spouse or complete dissolution of their marriage. Legal separation usually occurs if the court, or the two parties, deem that there is a good chance of saving the marriage.
Divorce occurs when there is not. It can be “uncontested” when the parties agree to all matters including support and custody of a child, and “contested” when they do not.
Uncontested Divorce: Key points
In the case of an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees on all vital matters relating to the case, including custody, child support, and visitation, along with property division among others. There must be a “total agreement.”
In an uncontested proceeding, the two parties can file a joint petition (one of the necessary forms needed for the proceedings) alongside a copy of their written and signed agreement. The required paperwork and the necessary instructions are provided by the State of Missouri to enable you to successfully file for dissolution. This option reaches a resolution quickly, as the parties do not have to go through the potentially prolonged process of reaching decisions with the help of mediation or lawyers.
Once the required forms are submitted, the parties will have to appear in court, in front of a judge for a final hearing. They will testify that the marriage is irretrievably broken. It is, in this case, the final divorce will be granted.
Details about Contested Divorce
The materials provided by the state are for “uncontested dissolutions without complicated issues;” if you are likely to be facing a contested divorce, there are many other factors involved. With complex custody or family law issues, substantial property divisions, or perhaps other complicating factors, you would benefit from the help of an experienced Missouri legal representative.
In a contested case where both parties are unable to come to a mutual conclusion on alimony, the division of debts, support for their child, custody, and similar family law issues, the circuit court will make such decisions for them. This option usually prolongs the divorce process and is more expensive. It is, however, the best way to ensure that both parties get to present their case, as well as any evidence.
Missouri Divorce Lawyers
In order to begin a legal separation, you need to fill out and file a “petition for dissolution.” This is the document that initiates the process. It covers the following:
- The residence of each party, including the county and length of each party’s residence in the state and county
- Date of the marriage and location where it is registered
- Date of separation
- The name, date of birth, and address of each child, as well as the name of the parent with whom each resided during the sixty days leading up to the filing of the petition
- Social Security numbers for the petitioner, respondent, and each child
- Whether the wife is pregnant
- Any custody and child support arrangements
- Any additional relief sought
Then, the petitioner pays a filing fee determined by the circuit court in which the case is filed. A “summons” will be issued to the spouse (the respondent), informing him or her of the case that has begun.
If there are minor children involved, a parenting plan must also be prepared and filed. In some counties, you also have to file a Family Court Information Sheet. If you are divorcing in Springfield, MO, a family law attorney can advise you of the requirements in your county, as well as which forms are needed and when.
Those who choose to forego the counsel and representation of an attorney will be responsible for understanding and following all applicable state and county divorce action laws.
When Do You Need to Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Missouri
A divorce law firm can help navigate what is often a painful process. An unfortunate, emotionally-intense stage of anyone’s life, the end of a marriage can be quite difficult. Dissolving your marriage requires you to split your property, debts, and contend with such problems as custody of children, and support for your child or children.
Handling this on your own can be very challenging. Hiring the services of an experienced attorney to stand by you during this difficult time can be really helpful.
How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer and Not Make a Mistake?
When you originally married, neither you nor your spouse thought you would ever need to know how to choose a divorce law firm. With so many options, the process of selecting the right one may seem daunting.
You want someone who will not only guide you through every step of the process but also serve as your advocate and enter negotiations with your best interest in mind. Working with the right attorney may even increase the chances of you and your spouse agreeing on the key divorce problems.
When planning to hire one, choose the individual who has the right qualities to help with your particular case. If it is likely that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will agree on the majority of the issues, then choosing compassionate lawyers with good mediating skills is a good option. On the other hand, if you believe you will have to fight your spouse over every issue, you would be better served by selecting a tough attorney with a reputation for fighting ruthlessly.
Comparing Divorce Attorneys in St Louis
When comparing lawyers that handle divorce in St. Louis, MO, apart from picking one based on the perceived ease of negotiations, you should also consider other crucial factors. Choose a family law attorney who has experience handling family law issues and cases similar to yours.
Determine their level of confidence. The more confident they are, the more you will be. Assess their confidentiality and security protocols. Before hiring, make sure they are licensed to practice in Saint Louis, MO rather than IL.
Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyers in Kansas City
The process of comparing and choosing lawyers who handle divorce cases in this city in Missouri is the same as the previous one. Among your favorites, weigh the differences in fees. Pay attention to any incidental charges that they may include so you can make the best decision for your circumstances.
Hire someone with whom you feel comfortable. Make sure he or she is licensed to practice in Kansas City, MO rather than KS. These qualities are quite important, and you must consider them when on the lookout for the right legal representation.
Searching for the Best Divorce Lawyers Springfield, MO
Searching for lawyers who handle divorce in Springfield, MO can be a tricky task. Divorces are difficult and highly personal. You want someone you can trust who is experienced in favorably resolving divorces. As a divorce attorney in Springfield, it is Summer Masterson-Goethals’s goal to provide peace of mind and look out for your best interests. They can provide more information regarding your particular situation, custody of a child, as well as other court related problems you may need help with.