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Navigating a Divorce with an Unwilling Spouse

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When navigating a divorce in Missouri with an unwilling spouse, it can be challenging, but there are steps you can take. Keep in mind that it’s crucial to consult with a qualified family law attorney to get advice tailored to your specific situation.

  • Legal Grounds for Divorce in Missouri: Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither party needs to prove that the other did something wrong to obtain a divorce. The only requirement is that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage: You can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse resides. This document initiates the divorce process and outlines your requests regarding property division, child custody, and support.
  • Service of Process: After filing, you must ensure that your spouse is properly served with a copy of the divorce papers. This can be done by a sheriff, a process server, or through certified mail with return receipt requested.
  • Response from the Unwilling Spouse: If your spouse refuses to respond or participate in the divorce proceedings, the court may proceed with a default judgment. However, it’s essential to follow proper legal procedures to ensure that your spouse has been given proper notice.
  • Mediation or Counseling: Missouri courts may encourage mediation or counseling to resolve disputes and reach agreements. Even if your spouse is initially unwilling, they might be more open to these alternatives.
  • Temporary Orders: If needed, you can request temporary orders regarding issues such as child custody, support, and spousal maintenance during the divorce process.
  • Discovery Process: The discovery process allows both parties to gather information and evidence. This may include financial documents, property records, and other relevant information.
  • Court Hearings: The court may schedule hearings to address various issues, such as temporary orders, property division, child custody, and spousal support. Your spouse may be required to attend these hearings.
  • Default Judgment: If your spouse continues to be uncooperative, the court may proceed with a default judgment, making decisions based on the information provided by the filing party.
  • Enforcement of Court Orders: If your spouse still refuses to comply with court orders, you may need to take legal steps to enforce them.

Remember, it’s essential to consult with an attorney who can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances. Family law matters can be complex, and professional advice is crucial to protecting your rights and interests.

At Raza Family Law Solutions, we practice family law effectively guiding clients through prenuptial and post nuptial agreements, dissolution of marriage, modifications of prior judgments, and resolving child custody disputes. We also help families take a different approach to divorce with mediation and collaborative work.  Contact us for a consultation at (314) 314-5505.

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