On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in family law on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
A Missouri divorce can be complicated, or it can be straighforward. It may be done with or without attorneys and with or without courtrooms, but there are a few procedural steps that every divorce has in common. The exact path of the process varies on a case-by-case basis, and there are options when it comes to making divorce filings. In nearly all cases, divorce begins with filing and continues through service, response, negotiation and agreement.
The first step in a Missouri divorce is one spouse filing a petition for divorce. The petition is usually filed along with a summons. Both documents must then be served on the other spouse. Waiting to file the petition can negatively impact a person’s prospects on issues like financial support or child custody.
Once the other spouse has been served with the petition and the summons, he or she has a certain length of time to file a response. If an attorney has not yet been retained, this is a good time to consider doing so. After the response has been filed, information gathering and negotiation can begin in earnest. Both parties to the divorce are required to disclose financial information, including assets, liabilities and income.
The final step is agreement, and there are many ways to get there. A completed divorce includes a legal judgment, which may be decided during trial in front of a judge, during mediation or by the parties on their own in particularly amicable divorces. Individuals who are approaching or going through divorce in Missouri may want to consult an attorney with experience in divorce law who can often help by gathering evidence in preparation for court hearings or by negotiating on the client’s behalf.