A Comprehensive Guide to Uncontested Divorce: Missouri Laws, Procedures, & More
Uncontested divorce in MO offers many benefits to those eligible. Learn everything you need to know to get started in this comprehensive overview.
The Basics of Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
If you and your spouse are able to agree on the basics of your upcoming divorce, you may be good candidates for an uncontested divorce in Missouri.
While it may sound like the divorce is equivalent to a walk in the park, keep in mind that uncontested divorce is not necessarily a cheap or easy process. There are still certain requirements and steps that must be met, and you must be able to work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Simple Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
An uncontested divorce in MO is no more complicated than a standard dispute in a contested divorce case. In fact, one of the most appealing parts of some uncontested divorces can be just how quick they are.
Uncontested divorce in Missouri is a very straightforward process if the two parties agree on all issues relating to their ending marriage. It is the simplest kind of divorce, unlike the traditional contested divorce.
How to File for Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
While divorce is an emotional experience, the act of applying for an uncontested divorce can be complicated. The laws governing the act will vary from state to state.
Here is what you need to file for an uncontested divorce in Missouri:
Documentation of your marriage. Bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate to the clerk of the court that serves your county. If you don’t have a copy, be sure to ask for one at the recorder of deeds office where you got married.
This document will help prove that you’re legally married and that you’ve lived in Missouri for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.
The certified copy must also show whether your marriage was “contested” or “uncontested.” “Contested” means that one or both spouses tried to stop it from happening. “Uncontested” means that there wasn’t any opposition to getting married.*
If someone else helped you get married (for example, if you went across state lines or out of the country), there might be problems with your marriage certificate, so talk to an attorney before filing for divorce.
Other documents. You also need a certified copy of any orders issued by another state and a filing fee to kickstart the process.
Cost of Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
If you have been researching uncontested divorces in Missouri, you have probably seen the cost to complete your procedure will vary depending on your county. The reason for this is that the statutes allow each family court judge to set his or her own filing fee schedule for marriage dissolution paperwork.
The average cost of a divorce in Missouri may be higher than average attorney fees in other states due to the high incorporation of child support and alimony. If you have no children with your spouse, the cost of an uncontested divorce can be low, yet these types of divorces are becoming increasingly rare.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Missouri?
How long does an uncontested divorce take in MO?
It comes down to the exact circumstances of the case, but we can give you a rough estimate of how long it will take for an uncontested divorce to be finalized.
In Missouri, uncontested divorce cases can take as little as one month or as long as six months.
Most cases of uncontested divorce in MO are simple and cost-effective. However, outliers do exist, so it’s a good idea to consult an attorney before you begin.
Waiting Period for Uncontested Divorce Missouri
The length of time before an uncontested divorce can be granted in Missouri depends upon the fault-based grounds for divorce. Where uncontested is asserted and there is no legal custody, the parties must reside in the state for six months and in the county for thirty days prior to applying for a dissolution.
Where a party petitions on the ground of cruel and inhuman treatment, the petitioning party must reside in the state six months prior to application; the period may be reduced upon showing of hardship.
An exception exists where a defendant has been convicted of a felony against the person or property of the petitioner or any child of either party; action may be brought immediately following such conviction.
Uncontested Divorce Process in Missouri
The uncontested divorce process is a simplified alternative to the traditional process of divorce that includes filing for separation and help from a divorce attorney.
People want to get back to their personal and professional lives effectively after overcoming unpleasant situations. The fact that legal disputes are less costly, less time-consuming, and less stressful makes uncontested divorce one of the most popular options chosen by separated spouses in MO.
What Are the Steps for an Uncontested Divorce in Missouri?
If you are filing an uncontested divorce in Missouri, there are a few steps you should be aware of. It’s important that you know what is involved so that you can move through the process smoothly and efficiently.
Here is a simple breakdown of the divorce process in Missouri:
- Find out whether or not you’ll need a divorce lawyer in Missouri before you hire one.
- Decide where to file for divorce in the court where you intend to do so.
- Submit a “Petition for Dissolution” form.
- Fill out the necessary Family and Parenting Plan paperwork (if required).
- Give notice of your divorce to the court.
Uncontested Divorce Forms Missouri
When looking for the easiest divorce process, you may come across a variety of legal forms online with lots of detail. Also known as paperless divorce, these forms are used to obtain a divorce in the Missouri court system. This is the fastest way to obtain a divorce in Missouri.
These forms can be utilized regardless of how long you have been married or if you have children together. Springfield family law firm Masterson Law provides our clients with the desired degree of legal representation in the wide range of divorce proceedings we bring before the court.
Whether your divorce situation is contested or uncontested, our goal is to take as much stress as we possibly can from your situation and guide you through each step of the process from start to finish.
Where Can I Get Uncontested Divorce Papers?
If you and your spouse agree on all issues in your divorce, such as child custody, health insurance, spousal support, and asset sharing, then you can file them as uncontested. This means that both you and your spouse sign the appropriate forms, which are available from the Missouri State Courts Self-Representation Center at www.selfrepresent.mo.gov.
If you need legal assistance or mediation services, Masterson Law will help you by working closely with you and your spouse to get you to a place where the two of you can be amicable. Our family & divorce lawyers know that it is often difficult for any couple to separate from one another, especially if there are children involved. We communicate with both parties to facilitate a positive transition for all parties involved.