How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced in Missouri?
Going through a divorce can be a stressful and emotionally challenging time in anyone’s life. One of the most common questions people have when contemplating a divorce is how long the process will take. In Missouri, the time it takes to get divorced can vary depending on several factors. This article will discuss the general timeline for a divorce in Missouri and answer some frequently asked questions about the process.
General Timeline for Divorce in Missouri
The timeline for a divorce in Missouri can be influenced by several factors, including the complexity of the case, the cooperation of both parties, and the court’s schedule. While it is impossible to predict the exact duration of a divorce, there is a general timeline that most divorces in Missouri follow.
1. Filing the Petition: The divorce process in Missouri typically begins when one party files a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This is the initial legal document that initiates the divorce proceedings. Once the petition is filed, the other party must be served with a copy of the petition and has 30 days to respond.
2. Discovery Phase: After the petition is filed, both parties may engage in a process called discovery. This phase involves gathering information and evidence relevant to the divorce, such as financial documents, property valuations, and child custody arrangements. The duration of the discovery phase can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of both parties.
3. Negotiations/Settlement: Once the discovery phase is complete, the parties may engage in negotiations to reach a settlement agreement. This agreement will determine the division of assets, child custody arrangements, and any spousal or child support payments. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case may proceed to trial.
4. Trial: If the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the case will go to trial. During the trial, both parties present their arguments and evidence to the judge, who will make a final decision on the divorce terms. The duration of the trial can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule.
5. Finalization: After a settlement agreement is reached or a judge makes a final decision, the divorce is finalized. The court will issue a divorce decree, which officially ends the marriage. The length of time it takes to receive the divorce decree can vary depending on the court’s schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I get a divorce in Missouri if my spouse doesn’t agree?
A: Yes, Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you can get a divorce even if your spouse does not agree. However, the process may take longer if your spouse contests the divorce.
Q: How long do I have to be a resident of Missouri to file for divorce?
A: To file for divorce in Missouri, either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days before filing.
Q: Is there a waiting period for a divorce in Missouri?
A: Yes, Missouri has a 30-day waiting period after the petition is filed before a divorce can be granted. This waiting period allows the parties to reconsider their decision and potentially reconcile.
Q: How much does a divorce cost in Missouri?
A: The cost of a divorce in Missouri can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether the parties reach a settlement or go to trial. It is recommended to consult with an attorney to get an estimate of the potential costs.
Q: Can I get a divorce without hiring an attorney?
A: While it is possible to get a divorce without an attorney, it is highly recommended to seek legal counsel. Divorce laws can be complex, and having an attorney can help ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
In conclusion, the duration of a divorce in Missouri can vary depending on various factors. While it is impossible to provide an exact timeline, understanding the general process and seeking legal guidance can help streamline the process and minimize stress. If you are contemplating a divorce in Missouri, it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances.