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St Louis Mo Divorce Law

If Attempts To Serve My Spouse Do Not Work What Is My Next Step

Divorce Lawyer St. Louis Missouri: Divorce Litigation vs Divorce Mediation

If you are not able to serve your spouse with the divorce paperwork, you may still obtain a divorce by publication. A public legal notice announcing your filing of the divorce will be placed in a legal newspaper for at least 30 days.

It is important to know that unless your spouse is personally served, the court cannot decide custody of the children, child support, or divide marital property. The court can only dissolve the marriage.

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Our St Louis Missouri Law Firm Wrote The Book On Divorce Literally

Attorneys Alisse C. Camazine and Alan E. Freed are co-authors of the only book for the lay person that addresses Missouri divorce law specifically. It is titled Divorce in Missouri: the Ultimate Guide to a Show-Me State Divorce.

These skilled practitioners have the compassion you need and the authority you can depend on, in divorce legal areas such as:

  • Child custody and visitation, including cases involving addiction or abuse
  • Grandparent visitation

View the Dissolution Legal Process Chart

Our dedicated legal professionals are here to guide you through the process of ending your marriage. Lawyers from our business, corporate, taxation, and estate departments combine for a team approach to deal with every issue that may arise in your divorce. We want our efficient collaboration to give you complete peace of mind that your affairs are being handled smoothly and professionally.

What Is The Difference Between An Annulment And Divorce

While divorce may be permanent, it does not dispute the fact that a marriage was legally enacted and in existence in the first place.

An annulment, however, is very similar to a divorce as it may involve a dividing of assets, custody and visitation negotiations, and so on but an annulment means that the marriage was established on false pretenses. If a man discovers, for example, that his wife has been lying about an extensive criminal past , or that she was never formally divorced from a former spouse, he may file for an annulment rather than a divorce.

If an annulment is successful, it is from a legal perspective as if the marriage did not ever truly exist. Annulments can also be sought for religious reasons, particularly given the gravity of divorce in the understanding of certain faiths.

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Spousal Maintenance In St Louis Missouri

According to Missouri divorce laws, the court may grant spousal maintenance to either party. This depends on a finding that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is not able to support themselves and lacks sufficient property to provide for their own needs or that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is the guardian of a child whose condition is such that it would be inappropriate for that party to seek outside employment.The court will take in and consider the following factors in ruling the amount of spousal maintenance to be compensated:

  • The time necessary for the spouse seeking support to acquire sufficient education or training
  • The comparative earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The obligations and assets of the marriage, both separate and marital
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, physical and mental condition of the spouse seeking support
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to meet both his needs and the needs of the spouse seeking support
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage
  • And any other relevant factors

The order establishing spousal maintenance must also state whether the award is modifiable or non-modifiable. If the award is modifiable, the court may modify the award only upon a showing that the circumstances have changed so considerably as to make the terms unreasonable.

Parenting And Divorce In Missouri

Divorce Attorney in St. Louis

Part of any divorce in Missouri with children is the submission of a Parenting Plan. Generally speaking, this will discuss how you plan to look after the children after a marriage has been dissolved. A family lawyer, with experience involving child custody issues can be a great asset during this difficult time.

HB1550 is Missouris new bill thats making shared parenting the norm. It maximizes to the time children spend with their parents, requires the court to explain how they determined custody arrangements, and keeps local courts from making their own rules.

Custody arrangements can be tricky, especially if there is an acrimonious divorce happening between the spouses, but its important to set these provisions up early and clearly, for the best interests of the children. Working with an attorney or mediator can help find a reasonable accommodation for all parties, so everyone can contribute to the upbringing of the children in question.

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Name Of The Court And Title Of The Action/parties In St Louis County

Here are a few key names for you to make note of. First is the Circuit Court, where the petition for the divorce is filed. The first action is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The final action is called the Depending on which party is filing the divorce, you are either called the Petitioner or the Respondent .

With Stange Divorce Lawyers

Legal problems such as divorce, separation, child custody, paternity, child and spousal support, collaborative law, mediation, adoption, juvenile and other domestic relations matters can affect families profoundly, and taking action can seem overwhelming.

Thats okay. If you are looking to find a family or divorce lawyer, all we ask is that you take the first step and contact us for a consultation. Our family and divorce law firm can handle the rest so you can focus on caring for yourself and your family. Our law firm has locations in the Midwest in St. Louis in Clayton, Kansas City, Chicago, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Lincoln and the surrounding areas. No matter the family law issue may be, we are here to help you rebuild your life.

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When Can I File For Divorce In Missouri

You must be a resident of Missouri for at least 90 days before you can file for divorce. If children are involved and they do not have the necessary ties with the State of Missouri, then the opposing party may contest the divorce filing in Missouri if the filing party has only resided in the state for the requisite 90 days.

Attorney Costs And Divorce In Missouri

Filing For Divorce In Missouri | Cordell & Cordell

In Missouri, some attorneys will charge clients a flat fee for an uncontested divorce, but it really depends on the attorney. There is a wide-spectrum of divorce attorneys in Missouri and there fees range from reasonable to high.

The amount of your retainer will depend on how complicated your divorce is, especially if its contested. As we previously discussed, the longer and more complicated a divorce is, the more expensive it will likely be.

Even though it can feel daunting to worry about these financial calculations at such a stressful time, dont be afraid to call a few attorneys and speak with them directly about your situation and potential fees. They almost always offer a initial consultation, where they will give you an idea of the type of process and fees you can expect.

The mental and physical well-being of the parents. Any history of abuse or neglect.

A parent may gain physical custody of the child where they provide daily care or legal custody where they may make decisions on the childs schooling, religion, or medical care.

In a divorce in Missouri, a court can determine custody based on five custody arrangements:

1. Joint custody .2. Joint custody to both parents and legal custody to one.3. Joint legal custody to both parents and physical custody to one.4. Sole custody to one parent.5. Custody or visitation by third parties .

In these situations, its advisable to speak with a family lawyer about your situation.

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Ask An Attorney About Divorce Versus Legal Separation In St Louis

It is important to hire a lawyer with experience and knowledge of the local jurisdictions and judges. This means knowing their tendencies and how they typically rule on things, as well as knowing what they often do in certain situations.

There are some judges who are much more likely to order another party to pay someones attorneys fees, and others are much more likely to order a higher level of maintenance. The difference in how each county treats divorce versus legal separation in St. Louis is huge. Knowing that information is very valuable, so to learn more.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce In St Louis

If you are planning to get a divorce or have been served with the papers by your spouse, it is crucial that you know all your legal options. When you have a proper understanding of your rights and the legal process, you will have an easier time navigating the judicial system.

One of the first questions to cross the mind of divorcing couples is how long the process will take. There is no straightforward answer to this question. The length of your divorce will depend on several factors.

Generally speaking, a divorce where both parties mutually agree to resolve important matters will take considerably less time compared to a divorce that involves hostility and disagreements.

Once the papers are filed with the court, it can take anywhere from six weeks to a year for the divorce to be finalized. Depending on your unique case facts, an experienced St. Louis Divorce Mediation attorney can help you know how long your divorce is likely to take to get finalized.

Lets look at some factors that influence the length of divorce in St. Louis.

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How Long Does A Divorce Take In Missouri

A divorce must be pending for a minimum of 30 days after it is filed before a divorce can be granted.

How long a divorce case will last depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. If there are significant issues upon which you and your spouse cannot agree to resolve, those issues will have to be resolved by a judge.

It is necessary for the attorneys to gather and exchange all of the information concerning what is in your childrens best interests, as well as information regarding your residence, mortgage, vehicles, loans, bank accounts, credit cards, and all of your other assets and debts.

The judge will schedule pretrial settlement conferences to determine the status of the case. If there is a good reason to delay the case, the judge has the discretion to do so. Otherwise, the judge will likely set a trial date. If there are any unresolved issues on the trial date, the parties will be allowed to present their evidence and make their arguments, and the judge will decide the remaining issues.

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How To File For Divorce

Divorce Attorney

You can file your case in one of two ways, by yourself or with the help of your attorney. Filing by yourself is called filing pro se. To file by yourself, you fill out the paperwork from the Missouri Courts website, go to your local circuit court and file the case. The other way is with the help of an attorney. To use an attorney for your divorce, the first step is setting up a consultation to meet with an attorney to discuss your case. If you hire or retain an attorney, then they will draft the divorce paperwork and file the case for you.

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Name Of The Court And Title Of The Action/parties In St Louis Missouri

Here are a few key names for you to make note of. First is the Circuit Court, where the petition for the divorce is filed. The first action is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The final action is called the Depending on which party is filing the divorce, you are either called the Petitioner or the Respondent .

Asset Division And Divorce In Missouri

Missouri is an equitable distribution state. This means that, when it comes to dividing property, the court will split it fairly. The division doesnt necessarily have to be fair to be considered equal, though.

One of the most assets discussed in this portion of a divorce is a house or other real estate holdings, but thats not the only place assets are defined. This extends to other financial assets such as a

  • Collections of Artwork or Antiques
  • Household Goods and Furnishings
  • Insurance Policies

For a number of these assets, its pretty simple to determine the value by simply looking at the account total. However, other assets are more abstract in value and may require the assistance of an accountant or specialist like a real estate appraiser.

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Why Is Our St Louis Family Law Firm Different

It seems simple, but it only takes some small steps to greatly differentiate yourself from the competition. Rather than throw out fluffy descriptions about being aggressive at trial or caring about your needs, it is important to know the tangible differences between our firm and other firms:

  • Phone Calls: We return them. Emails too. Our goal is to return all communication within a few hours and generally within 24 hours at the longest. Unreturned communication is always one of the biggest complaints clients have at other firms, and we understand that this is a stressful time and you have questions that need to be addressed in a timely fashion.
  • Client involvement: We let our clients make decisions in their case to control the cost and to control the tone of the case. While we take the lead, as you are hiring a professional to guide you through the process, it is important to involve clients so they have some control over the process. We will work together as a team to get through your divorce.

There are plenty of other ways we are different and plenty of ways we are the same as other firms. However, those are the issues that clients always bring up in consultations, and those are the issues that can really change your experience with an attorney. In the end, it is important to come into the office and chat with us to determine if we are a fit for you.

Distribution Of Property In St Louis Missouri

STL Moms – Push for more strict legislation on custody agreements

Missouri divorce laws call for an equitable distribution of assets. This means that the court will divide the marital property between the parties as it deems equitable and fair, after setting aside each partys separate property. This essentially means that you get to keep what belongs to you and all shared property will be divided equally between you and your ex-spouse. The court will consider the following factors in dividing the property between the parties:

  • The economic circumstances of the parties at the time of the division of property
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marital estate
  • The value of the non-marital property set apart to each spouse
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage
  • Custodial arrangements for minor children

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Missouri Revised Statute 452340

452.340. Child support, how allocated factors to be considered abatement or termination of support, when support after age eighteen, when public policy of state payments may be made directly to child, when child support guidelines, rebuttable presumption, use of guidelines, when retroactivity obligation terminated, how. 1. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or child support, the court may order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the support of the child, including an award retroactive to the date of filing the petition, without regard to marital misconduct, after considering all relevant factors including:

The financial needs and resources of the child

The financial resources and needs of the parents

The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved

The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the childs educational needs

The childs physical and legal custody arrangements, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent and the reasonable expenses associated with the custody or visitation arrangements and

The reasonable work-related child care expenses of each parent.

3. Unless the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate otherwise and the court specifically so provides, the obligation of a parent to make child support payments shall terminate when the child:


How Do I Serve The Divorce Complaint On My Spouse In Missouri How Long Do I Have To Wait To Receive My Divorce

When you file your petition for dissolution, a copy will be delivered to the sheriff or a process server if you request. Either the sheriff or process server will serve the petition on your spouse, and will make a report to the court that he served the petition.

You will have to wait a minimum of 30 days after you file your petition before the court can grant a divorce. However, if the opposing party is served, then the opposing party has 30 days to file an Answer to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and/or Answer to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Upon opposing party filing an Answer and/or Answer and Counter-Petition, then the case progresses in a normal manner within the court system and it is difficult to forecast how long it will take for the court to grant the divorce.

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Q: What Are The Penalties For Violating A Custody Order In Missouri

A: Any willful violation of a child custody order in St. Louis is likely to lead to contempt proceedings against the parent in violation. The judge handling the case has discretionary power to assign penalties they deem appropriate. For example, if the violation pertains to nonpayment of child support, the judge may seize the parents assets, garnish their wages, or incarcerate them until they meet their payment obligations. More serious violations could lead to involuntary termination of parental rights and criminal prosecution.

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