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Legal separation, divorce, you have likely heard both terms before at some point in your life, but have you ever thought about how different they really are? Keep reading this week’s blog to gain a better understanding of legal separation and divorce and how they differ from one another. If you are in need of an experienced divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, call Deputy and Mizell today for your free consultation today. We can be reached at 573-346-9990, the first consultation is free. 

Deputy & Mizell, Injury Attorneys near Lake of the Ozarks


You are still married when you are legally separated. All of the same issues are decided, such as:

  • Division of property
  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Child support
  • Maintenance

A judgment of Legal Separation can be set aside by the judge



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. 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.

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”
  1. Prepare your parenting plan, if you have children
  2. File a Family Court Information Sheet (only in some counties)
  3. Cause the court to issue a summons otherwise known as a paper telling the other spouse that the case has been
  4. started and giving them a copy of the petition.
  5. Pay a filing fee.

Deputy & Mizell, Injury Attorneys near Lake of the Ozarks

Are You Going Through a Tough Divorce?

If you have been separated for some time and are considering divorce now, make sure you fully understand what you are getting into first. One of the best ways you can do that is to speak with an experienced divorce attorney and get your questions answered. We can be reached at the phone numbers listed below. Our attorneys fight aggressively to obtain the best possible settlement available in your case. While we always attempt to negotiate a fair resolution without the need for costly and painful litigation, our opponents know that we will not hesitate to go to court in order to protect our clients’ interests. You can also follow us on our social media channels listed below to stay up to date on our latest legal tips.


Deputy & Mizell, Injury Attorneys near Lake of the Ozarks

Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.

Representing Clients Across the Lake of the Ozarks Region

                                             Lebanon: 417-532-2191                                               

Camdenton: 573-346-9990