Most people don’t get married, assuming they will get divorced at one point in their lives. So, when that happens, they typically don’t know what to do or where to turn to. Lack of knowledge about the Missouri divorce process, combined with emotional turmoil, could result in making poor decisions that can adversely affect your life.
Getting a divorce or dissolution of marriage can be emotionally and financially draining. That’s why it’s essential to choose a trusted and highly-rated firm that can be there for you during tough times.
Below, you can find answers to divorce in Springfield FAQ provided by Masterson Law, a highly-rated, aggressive, and experienced divorce attorney in Springfield, Missouri.
On the Journey with You
Experienced with Divorces
Summer has a great deal of divorce attorney Springfield MO experience. From routine to contentious, she is a proven litigator in the courtroom and her work as been published by the Missouri Bar. No matter your situation, Summer is here to help you navigate.
“Divorces are difficult, personal matters. It’s my job to give you a piece of mind and look out for your best interests.”
Summer Masterson-Goethals, Masterson Law
Throughout her legal career, there has always been a common thread with Summer: the belief that everyone deserves high-quality representation at an accessible price. Summer Masterson-Goethals has been described as the ‘perfect’ attorney for their divorce by previous clients on account of her tenacious presence during legal proceedings, personal attention, and supportive encouragement throughout the process. Choosing Masterson Law will put your mind at ease and help you get on with your life.
Divorce in Springfield FAQ
What Is a Dissolution of Marriage in Missouri?
Although many states use the term divorce when a marriage is ended, Missouri law uses the term dissolution of marriage. For a marriage to be ended, it has to be proven that the bonds of marriage are dissolved, or in other words, that the marital relationship between spouses is irretrievably broken, and there is no reasonable likelihood that it can be preserved.
Where to File for Divorce?
If you want to file for divorce in Missouri, either you or your former spouse must be a resident of Missouri for the preceding 90 days prior to filing. If you meet the residency requirement, you may file a petition for dissolution of marriage in the Circuit Court in the county where either party resides.
Is It Possible to Get a Divorce in Springfield Without Going Through the Courts?
No, and yes. You must file a divorce petition in court to get legally divorced; however, you can participate in mediation or utilize a collaborative divorce process that will allow you to reach an agreement on all issues so that a settlement agreement can be drafted and filed with the court without going through formal court proceedings.
In that instance, your attorney will request the court to enter a judgment based upon your settlement agreement. The parties can usually appear by affidavit, which allows them to avoid any court appearances.
Is It More Cost-Effective for Us to Try to Work Out Child Custody Together, Rather Than Involve the Law?
Issues regarding child support, custody, and visitation can be dealt with along with the divorce procedure or addressed separately. Custody arrangements can be challenging, especially if the divorce is contested. Parents can work with a mediator to find a reasonable arrangement for all parties.
If parents work out a custody arrangement together, they will need to file a case and have a judgment from the court for certain protections to apply. That being said, you can always hire an attorney to draft the proper paperwork so that you can avoid lengthy litigation in court.
Divorce and Bills in Springfield, MO – What’s the Law on This?
Missouri is a “non-marital property” state, meaning, your debt is not considered marital unless you signed an agreement in writing obligating each of the parties. Whoever signed the agreement is obligated. The exception to this general rule is medical bills and some other special types of creditors, such as the IRS and child support.
Read more about alimony laws (spousal support) in Missouri and feel free to email our team with any specific questions that are not answered in the page.
Is Not Following the Financial Terms of a Divorce in Springfield, MO Considered Breaking the Law?
Yes, that is grounds for contempt of court.
How Long After a Legal Separation Should I Wait to Contact a Lawyer to Start Divorce Proceedings?
When you are ready to file for divorce. Do note that waiting a long time may result in the destruction of evidence or the creation of negative evidence. If you have children, complicated financial dealings, or other issues – that may complicate the divorce as well. One of the best divorce Springfield MO specialists, Summer Masterson-Goethals can help you navigate all these decisions whenever you are mentally ready to proceed. Knowing your options early on in the process will help you see the best plan forward more clearly.
How Much Is It Just to Talk to a Springfield, MO Divorce Lawyer and See My Options?
Our office offers consultation on all family law matters. We also offer a special reduced fee for an instructive consultation where you can ask all the questions you may have, even if you don’t intend on retaining a lawyer for the entire process.
Can I Get Visitations Supervised in an Uncontested Divorce if the Other Parent Agrees to It?
Yes, if both parties agree to most terms, the court will allow it. Divorces with child custody issues can often be contentious and stressful. We will work tirelessly to protect your interests and the best outcome possible.
Is Cheating Grounds for Divorce in Springfield, MO?
No, Missouri is a “no-fault” divorce state; but, cheating is potentially grounds for a change in the normal 50/50 rule on the distribution of marital assets and debts.
In addition, if one spouse committed adultery, that may also impact the court’s decision regarding spousal support. Although marital misconduct is a factor that Missouri judges consider when deciding spousal maintenance issues, an affair resulting only in hurt feelings may not play a significant role.
However, if one spouse did something that negatively impacted marital estate, for example, cleaned out the marital bank accounts to take a lover on a luxury vacation, that could be treated differently because it affected the finances of the other spouse.
Is Missouri a 50-50 State in Divorce?
Actually, Missouri is not a 50/50 state during the divorce process but rather an equitable distribution state. The court will decide how to divide marital property if former spouses can’t reach an amicable settlement. That, however, doesn’t mean that the court will split everything 50/50 in every divorce case.
Regardless of whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the court will divide marital property equitably and fairly, considering the best interests of both spouses and any minor children.