Divorce Process

The Divorce Process in Missouri

Looking to file for divorce in Kansas City, MO?

If you are considering filing divorce papers, you probably don't know where to start or what to first. Before you begin the filing process, it is important you know there are certain requirements that must be met in order for the divorce to be granted. For example, in order to file a divorce petition with the Missouri family court, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. You should also know that after you file your divorce forms with the court, there is a mandatory 30 day waiting period that must pass before your divorce can be finalized. Remember that the state of Missouri does not require you to show fault in order to grant a divorce. Under the law, the only required grounds for divorce are that you establish the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and you show that there is no hope of reconciliation.

How do I start the divorce proceedings?

The step with any divorce case is to ensure that your rights are being put in the right hands. Your choice of legal representation is crucial because the final divorce ruling with impact your family long after the divorce is final. That is why you must obtain an experienced Kansas City divorce lawyer who will give your case the time and attention it deserves. Your attorney will be familiar with the process and can then help you prepare all the legal paperwork for dissolution of marriage. When you file your divorce forms, you must file them in the county in which you reside. The filing fees vary from county to county, so be sure to ask your lawyer about the fees associated to your case. If you spouse would like to file as well, you could file a joint petition and each party then becomes a "co-petitioner."

After the divorce papers are filed with the proper court, you must then notify your spouse and give them proper warning. Your case can then go in two different directions- if your spouse is in compliance with the divorce and you both agree on the terms and conditions, then you can prepare a divorce agreement and sign it. With an "agreed divorce" however, you must agree on every aspect including child custody, child support, property distribution and alimony. Most of our clients prefer to go this route because it is less expensive and time consuming. On the other hand, if the respondent does not wish to sign the divorce papers and does not file an answer, then it becomes a "default divorce" case. In situations like this the respondent typically wants nothing to do with the divorce which allows the petitioner to get whatever they ask for in the divorce petition. All you have to do in this case is attend your Missouri divorce hearing in front of a judge.

There is also a more highly contentious route when it comes to divorce and that is when the respondent wishes to contest the divorce forcing the case to move forward to trial. If your divorce case involves minor children, then the state requires you to attend an education class on how to help them through the aftereffects of divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, then you will also be required to attend a mediation session. Until a decision is reached, the court will issue temporary orders regarding custody, support and things of that nature. During a contested divorce you will have to undergo the discovery process which is where you must fill out forms reporting your income, assets, debts and all of your marital/non-marital property. Through this process the lawyers should be working to try and reach a settlement by drafting proposed agreements for review. If the parties are still not able to reach an agreement, then the judge will be the one to make the final decision regarding the matters at hand.

How a Kansas City Divorce Attorney Can Help

If you are not familiar with the state and county rules when it comes to divorce actions, then you will want to hire an attorney to help you through this process. It is vital that you understand your rights and the rights of your children and how they relate to your case. Here at The Reynolds Law Firm, LLC we believe that you deserve the very best and we can help you pursue a brighter future for yourself and for your family. With over 20 years of combined experienced, we are confident in taking on even the contentious divorce and family law cases. Contact a Kansas City divorce lawyer from our firm today to arrange your initial consultation!

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