Uncontested Divorce in St. Louis
How Does an Uncontested Divorce Work in Missouri?
Have you and your spouse both come to the conclusion that it is time to move on from your marriage? If so, you may want to explore the option of an uncontested divorce. As long as you and your spouse are willing to cooperate throughout the legal process, this alternative to traditional divorce can provide a quick, cost-effective and amicable resolution to your marriage. Since an uncontested divorce requires mutual cooperation, it is important to know that this form of divorce is not right for everyone.
When is an uncontested divorce right? When both spouses:
- Support the divorce and are willing to cooperate
- Come to agreement on child custody / child support
- Agree on how marital property will be divided
- Aren’t in dispute over spousal maintenance
- Haven’t committed any abuse against each other
These issues can start off civil, but quickly turn to disputes. For this reason, it is in your best interest to discuss your options with a St. Louis divorce attorney at The Buxner Law Firm before making any decisions.
We would be happy to help you determine if uncontested divorce is the best option. Take the first step by contacting us today at (314) 863-6000
Do I Need an Attorney for Uncontested Divorce?
Although an uncontested divorce allows you and your spouse to resolve the issues of your divorce without the intervention of the court, it is still advisable that you hire an experienced divorce lawyer in St. Louis. As in any divorce, you will need to complete numerous forms and ensure that they are properly filed with the court. If you are not represented by an attorney who is familiar with these procedures, a single mistake could result in the dismissal of your case—subsequently resulting in the loss of your filing fee.
Furthermore, your divorce cannot be finalized until a family court judge has signed off on your proposed divorce agreement. While the court will be apt to agree with any decisions that were made amicably between you and your spouse, they may not accept the terms of your divorce if any conditions are clearly unfair or unconscionable to one or both spouses. That is why having the guidance of a lawyer is so important. In doing so, you can ensure that the process is handled correctly the first time.
The Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
As mentioned earlier, initiating an uncontested divorce is a viable way for cooperating spouses to end their marriage quickly and affordably. Unlike traditional divorce proceedings, which allows a judge to make most, if not all, decisions on a couple’s behalf, an uncontested divorce gives all of the power to the couple.
- It is typically more cost-effective than a traditional divorce
- You won’t be required to appear in court throughout the process
- It usually takes less time to resolve the case from start to finish
- You and your spouse have the power to make important decisions
- The process is usually less stressful when both parties can cooperate
It is also important to understand what an uncontested divorce is not. An uncontested divorce is not a way for a couple to decide on MOST of the issues regarding the end of their marriage. During this form of divorce, a couple must decide on all issues (property division, child custody, etc.) or convert their case into a contested divorce. If the case is converted, the power to make decisions would then be in the judge’s hands.
Initiating an Uncontested Divorce by “Default”
In some cases, it is possible for an uncontested divorce to be initiated by way of default. If the petitioning spouse files their divorce papers and the other spouse does not respond within the allotted amount of time, the un-responsive spouse will be “in default.” This means that the case will be set for an uncontested final hearing, and the issues of the dissolution will be decided without their say. The only problem with an uncontested divorce by way of default is that the petitioner cannot get money from the other spouse by a default judgment in Missouri. What does that mean? An uncontested divorce by default may not necessarily be an ideal option for you if you need to get child support or spousal maintenance.
Discuss Your Case with The Buxner Law Firm Today
Have you decided to pursue an uncontested divorce in St. Louis, MO? If so, you should not hesitate to discuss the facts of your case with a divorce attorney at The Buxner Law Firm. With more than two decades of experience in the field, we know what it takes to achieve your desired result. Don’t wait to schedule your free, 30-minute, in-office consultation with our firm! We can help you move on from this difficult time in your life.
Call our office today or fill out a free case evaluation form online.