Having a skilled St. Louis divorce attorney is crucial to ending your marriage as painlessly as possible. While we never want to see marriages end, we understand sometimes even with the best of intentions, the relationship can’t be salvaged.
A St. Louis Divorce Attorney Will Guide You Through This Difficult Time.
Even if you and your spouse decide to end the relationship on good terms, divorces are hard. You are abruptly ending a chapter in your life you thought would go on forever.
Answers to Top 9 of Questions You Need To Ask Your Divorce Attorney
What is the difference between a divorce and a dissolution of marriage?
In Missouri, a divorce is known as dissolution of marriage because the bonds of the marriage are being dissolved.
What should I know going into my divorce?
Any experienced St. Louis divorce attorney will tell you there are two incredibly important things to be mindful of as you begin this journey.
Firstly, it is common for people to feel as if they are not divorcing the same person they married. Oftentimes spouses feel as if their partner seems like a completely different person during the divorce. They seem to think and behave differently than they did during the marriage.
Secondly, although as we said above, it’s not uncommon for people to seemingly change during a divorce, attitudes can make all the difference.
If a couple makes a good faith effort to remain civil and mature the entire process will likely go much smoother compared to couples who are quarreling and struggling to get along.
Everybody wins if both parties can remain kind and civil toward one another.
What will it be like to go to court?
Courtrooms aren’t as fancy as what TV and the media would lead us to believe. The process may not be as formal or glamorous as you expect.
St. Louis divorce attorneys practice in what is known as Family Court. Judges in Family Court here divorce cases on a daily basis. They are extremely familiar with the process and most judges are very particular about cases involving children.
How will our disagreements impact our children?
In cases where a couple’s relationship will negatively impact a child or children, the court will issue a guardian ad litem.
This guardian will represent the children’s best interests in the courtroom. The cost of the guardian ad litem will be shared by both parties.
This is yet another reason why we recommend trying to keep your relationship as peaceful as possible before and during the divorce journey.
Not to mention, you don’t want your children to get caught in the middle of your feud.
What do I need to start the process?
We always recommend our clients make sure they are absolutely certain divorce is the best option. If you are sure the relationship cannot or should not be repaired, there are a few steps necessary to get the ball rolling.
- File a Petition of Dissolution. This legal document is essentially an overview of who both parties are and why a divorce is necessary.
- If you have children, you will need to file a parenting plan.
- Some counties may require an information sheet for the court.
- Prompt the court to issue a summons. In this case, the summons will let your spouse know the divorce has started and provide them with a copy of the petition of dissolution.
- A filing fee must be paid. The fee can vary depending upon the county in which your dissolution of marriage is filed.
Do I need an attorney?
We strongly recommend being represented by a skilled St. Louis divorce attorney. You are going into a highly emotional process of which you have very little if any previous experience.
A skilled attorney will be there to guide you through the process and to help you create an outcome that will allow you to start your new life on the right track.
Is going to court my only option?
The Missouri court system has made a big push for “alternative dispute resolution“.
Spouses can choose to go to mediation to help with issues like creating a parenting plan. There are alternatives to divorce court.
What does my spouse do once I have filed for divorce?
Once you file a petition for dissolution, your spouse will file a legal document known as an “answer”. The answer will confirm or deny the facts you have stated in your petition for dissolution.
What if my spouse doesn’t respond?
If your spouse does not respond, they could be considered in default. At this point, the court could grant your dissolution. However, there are many other pieces to the puzzle that will be taken into consideration. The court may not automatically grant your dissolution because your spouse has not responded.