Filing and securing a divorce in Missouri is relatively uncomplicated if all the paperwork is in order, according to St. Louis divorce attorneys. As per Missouri law, only a no fault divorce is permitted in the state. Therefore, the grounds for filing for divorce have to be an irretrievably broken marriage.
An uncontested divorce is one in which the couple agree on all terms including property division, custody, child support, alimony and visitation rights, to name a few. In order to file for divorce in Missouri, one of the parties involved must be a resident of Missouri for at least 90 days.
Two ways of obtaining no fault divorce
There are two ways of obtaining a no fault or an uncontested divorce in Missouri, which include default proceeding or filing a joint petition.
In the first scenario, a petitioner files and serves the divorce papers and if the respondent does not file his or her response within the stipulated time, it is taken that the respondent is in default and a final hearing date is set by the court.
Steps of filing a joint petition divorce
A joint petition divorce is quick and hassle free, provided both parties agree on all terms previously. The respondent and the petitioner file jointly for divorce, having agreed on all the terms of the divorce. A copy of their written agreement has to be produced and a final hearing is scheduled in front of the judge, doing away with all the other processes of divorce. For more information you can visit barbarabehrensdivorceattorney.com.
The first step in the process of filing for divorce is to identify the circuit court where your case is going to be handled. Divorce can be filed only in the county where you reside currently, since the case can be thrown out if filed in the wrong county. Referring to the Missouri Judicial Branch’s website or Missouri Judicial Branch: Self-Representation and Access to Family Courts site and Legal Services of Missouri (legal aid and information) would be of magnificent help in identifying the correct court. Circuit courts are entry level courts, where each county has a court.
The divorce filing has to be done in the correct division since there are different divisions in the circuit court that handles criminal, family, or probation issues and divorce comes under the family division.
It would be prudent to take as much time as required to fill in the divorce papers since any mistakes would mean more delays and rework. The divorce forms are available online, or could be obtained through the clerk of the court in your county.
According to St. Louis divorce attorneys, the petition stating the grounds for divorce, and the details of parenting plan, child support worksheets, if the couple have children and sometimes, a family court information sheet are essential documents required for a joint petition. The clerk provides a date for final hearing after these documents are submitted to the court.
A non-petition divorce
A petitioner has to serve the papers on the respondent, in case of a non-joint petition divorce. A copy of the forms must be sent through official mail, such as the US mail or having a law enforcement officer or professional process server hand these over to the respondent.