Divorce can be a very difficult time for everyone involved, including children, family members, and friends. Deputy and Mizell recognizes this and our experienced law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to provide professional legal help during a divorce. Divorce can be confusing and a lot to take in. Check out some of these frequently asked questions regarding divorce. We have taken the liberty to try and clear up some of this confusion by answering some of the tough questions.
Missouri Divorce FAQs
What are the legal grounds for a divorce in MO?
A: There must be no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be saved and therefore the marriage is actually broken to get divorced in the state of Missouri.
What is alimony?
A: Alimony used to be a more commonly used term, but in Missouri alimony is now referred to as “maintenance”. In Missouri, it’s not as easy to get as it used to be. Now, you must take a “threshold test” first to get maintenance. You must:
- Be unable to provide for yourself through having a job because you are the custodian of a child whose condition makes it inappropriate to work
- AND, lack sufficient property, including marital property given in the dissolution, to provide for your needs.
If you pass the test, then the court decides on the amount of maintenance based on the following:
- Financial resources of the person requesting maintenance.
- Conduct of both spouses during marriage
- Time needed for the person seeking maintenance to acquire a job
- The paying spouse’s financial standing and whether they are able to support themselves while paying maintenance
- Each person’s relative earning power
- The duration of the marriage
- Standard of living during marriage
- Age, emotional, and physical condition of each person
- Debts and assets of each person
- Other relevant facts that may be of use, for example, whether or not one spouse put the other through school during the marriage.
What is the difference between dissolution and a legal separation?
A: Dissolution and legal separation are essentially the same except for the fact that you are still married when you are legally separated. All of the same issues are decided, such as:
- Division of property
- Child support
A judgment of Legal Separation can be set aside by the judge, a judgment of dissolution of marriage can NOT be set aside.
How do I start my case to get a dissolution of marriage?
A: Complete a “petition of dissolution,” and file it. This is the initial pleading that will tell you the court:
- Who you and your spouse are
- Where you were married
- Other facts about your “situation”
- Prepare your parenting plan, if you have children
- File a Family Court Information Sheet (only in some counties)
- Cause the court to issue a summons otherwise known as a paper telling the other spouse that the case has been started and giving them a copy of the petition.
- Pay a filing fee. This is typically set by the local rules of the circuit court in which the case is filed.
What if there is domestic violence involved in my marriage?
Seek resources that can help. In Missouri, there are resources for people suffering through domestic violence. Contact the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence at (888) 666-1911. Access their website for a list of other resources available in Missouri.
Need an Experienced Divorce Attorney?
The anxiety over an UNCERTAIN future and the frustration over unfamiliar legal issues can sometimes be TOO much to bear. At the experienced law firm of Deputy and Mizell, our Lake of the Ozarks divorce lawyers provide aggressive, dedicated representation to men and women throughout the Lake of the Ozarks area in all aspects of family law. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf, no matter whether or not you have an uncontested or a highly contested divorce.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
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