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Voted Best Lawyer 2024 Divorce Attorney

St. Louis Divorce Lawyer


Divorce Lawyer in St. Louis

Going through divorce can be emotionally challenging and legally complex.

In Missouri, there are specific requirements and steps you must follow to successfully dissolve your marriage. As experienced St. Louis divorce attorneys, we understand how to help good people get out of bad marriages. If you need help, take the next step and talk to our team.

What Do I Need to Know Before Filing for Divorce in Missouri?

What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Missouri?

To file for divorce in Missouri, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state or stationed in Missouri as part of military duty for at least 90 days prior to filing the initial divorce papers (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.305.1 (2022)).

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Missouri?

Missouri is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning the only ground for divorce is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” The court must find that there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved (Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 452.305, 452.320 (2022)).

Should I File for an Uncontested or Contested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce, where both parties agree on all terms, is typically quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than a contested divorce. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on issues such as property division, alimony, child custody, and support, your case will be considered a contested divorce.

How Do I Prepare for My Missouri Divorce?

Should I Choose a DIY Divorce or Seek Professional Help?

While a DIY divorce may seem like a cost-effective option, it’s important to consider the complexity of your case and the potential risks of proceeding without legal guidance. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that your divorce is handled properly.

What Is Divorce Mediation and How Can It Help?

Divorce mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps you and your spouse reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce. Mediation can be a valuable tool for resolving disputes and achieving an uncontested divorce.

Benefits of divorce mediation include:

  1. Greater control over the outcome of your divorce
  2. Reduced conflict and stress
  3. Faster resolution compared to a court trial
  4. Improved communication and co-parenting relationships

Can I Use an Online Divorce Service?

Online divorce services can be helpful for couples with simple, uncontested divorces. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the service you choose is reputable and complies with Missouri law.

When Should I Consult with a St. Louis Divorce Lawyer?

If you have a complex case, disagree with your spouse on any terms of the divorce, or simply want to ensure that your rights are protected, consulting with a divorce lawyer is highly recommended.

What Divorce Forms Do I Need to Complete?

Missouri requires several forms to be completed and filed during the divorce process, including:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage
  • Filing Information Sheet
  • Parenting Plan (if you have minor children)
  • Statement of Income and Expenses
  • Statement of Property and Debt and Proposed Separation Agreement
  • Judgment and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
  • Respondent’s Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (if applicable)

What Is the Required Parent Education Program and When Must I Attend?

Divorcing parents with minor children must complete a court-approved parent education program within 45 days of filing or being served with the divorce petition.

How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Missouri?

Filing your divorce papers correctly is crucial to initiating the divorce process.

Where Should I File My Divorce Papers?

You must file your divorce papers with the district court clerk’s office in the county where you or your spouse resides (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.300.5 (2020)).

How Much Are the Filing Fees for Divorce in St. Louis?

Filing fees for divorce in Missouri vary by county, typically ranging from $125 to $200.

What Information Do I Need to File for Divorce in St. Louis, MO?

  • Full legal names
  • Addresses and contact information
  • Social Security numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Employment information
  • What Details About My Marriage Should I Provide?
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Date of separation
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Reasons for the breakdown of the marriage
  • What Information Is Needed for the Children and Parenting Plan?
  • Names and ages of children
  • Current custody and visitation arrangements
  • Proposed parenting plan
  • Child support calculations
  • Health insurance and medical expenses for children
  • Extracurricular activities and expenses
  • What Financial Information Should I Collect?
  • Income statements (W-2s, 1099s, tax returns)
  • Bank and investment account statements
  • Retirement account information
  • Real estate deeds and mortgage documents
  • Vehicle titles and loan information
  • Business ownership and financial records
  • Credit card statements and other debt information
  • Life, health, and disability insurance policies

How Do I Serve My Spouse with Divorce Papers?

If your spouse agrees to accept the divorce papers, they can sign an “Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service.” Otherwise, you’ll need to arrange for service by a sheriff, court office, or private process server. If your spouse lives out of state or cannot be located, ask the court clerk about alternative service methods.

Does My Spouse Have To Respond to the Divorce Petition?

Your spouse typically has 30 days to file an answer to the divorce petition after being served. If they fail to respond, the court may enter a default judgment based on the terms outlined in your petition.

When Will My Divorce Be Finalized?

The final stages of your divorce will depend on whether your case is contested or uncontested.

How Long Is the Waiting Period for a Divorce in Missouri?

Missouri has a mandatory 30-day waiting period from the date of filing before a judge can sign the final dissolution judgment. However, the actual time to finalize your divorce may be longer depending on your case’s complexity and the court’s caseload.

Will I Need to Attend a Final Hearing?

In most cases, you’ll need to attend a final hearing. However, some counties may allow couples with uncontested divorces to skip the hearing if all required documents are filed and the judge approves the settlement agreement.

What Happens in a Contested Divorce Trial?

If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on all terms of your divorce, your case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both sides will present evidence and testimony, and a judge will make a decision on the unresolved issues. Contested divorce trials can be lengthy, costly, and emotionally draining, which is why it’s essential to work with an experienced divorce attorney who can protect your rights and advocate for your best interests.

Navigating the divorce process in Missouri can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Raza Family Law Solutions, our knowledgeable and compassionate divorce attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the process, from filing the initial paperwork to achieving a fair and equitable resolution. If you’re considering divorce or have questions about the process, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you move forward with confidence.

Serving Surrounding Cities

Clayton – Sunset Hills – Ballwin – Kirkwood – Chesterfield – Ladue

At Raza Family Law Solutions in St. Louis, MO, our compassionate and knowledgeable team of divorce lawyers is dedicated to guiding you through the divorce process with skill and understanding. We recognize that every family law matter is unique. We take the time to listen to your concerns, explain your options, and develop a tailored strategy to achieve your goals.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Missouri or have questions about the process, we invite you to contact our St. Louis office at (314) 314-5505 to schedule a consultation. Let us help you confidently move forward and build a brighter future for yourself and your family.

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