Divorcing spouses are often confronted with a variety of legal issues that can range from child and spousal support to the division of property, including retirement assets and real estate to arrangements for parenting time with the children. Divorces can be relatively simple uncontested matters where the parties are able to reach an agreement on all issues, or divorces can be highly contested cases where some, or all, of the issues are disputed. Sometimes it is necessary to also use the services of qualified third parties (accountants, mental health professionals, parent coordinators) to provide valuable expert opinions at trial.
At Siegel & Irwin, LLC, our experienced divorce lawyers are prepared to utilize whatever resources are necessary to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether your divorce matter is straightforward, highly complex, or somewhere in between, our divorce lawyers are prepared to tailor your legal representation to meet your specific needs. Licensed in Missouri law, our family law firm is conveniently located in Lee’s Summit, MO, providing divorce legal services throughout the greater Kansas City metro.
If you are interested in filing for a Missouri divorce, it is important to understand your rights and the process behind divorce proceedings. A divorce in Missouri is legally known as a “dissolution of marriage.” Dissolution of marriage in Missouri is limited “No-Fault,” meaning that a spouse only needs to show that a marriage is irretrievably broken to be granted a dissolution.
When going through the divorce process, a series of facts or questions will be presented in the original filing, and a spouse only needs to satisfy one fact or question in order to qualify for a dissolution of marriage. In other instances where a divorce is contested or there is proof that a marriage is not irretrievably broken, it is important to consult our divorce lawyers prior to filing so that you better understand what actions you can take to settle your divorce proceedings.
The family law firm of Siegel & Irwin, LLC has a history of experience, success, and training in divorce law of all complexities. Even in “no-fault” situations, divorces may take quite a bit of time and effort to work through the legal matters. Divorces are a complex matter and one should always consult a divorce lawyer when dealing with matters of dissolution in Missouri. To begin a divorce, official dissolution paperwork is filed at the county level by a spouse who is known as the “petitioner.” The receiving spouse is known as the “respondent.” The experienced divorce attorneys at Siegel & Irwin, LLC can assist with divorce forms, divorce filing, divorce court and many other divorce matters that you may encounter throughout your divorce proceedings in Missouri.
While a no-fault divorce may seem open and shut, there are strict laws governing how a divorce should proceed. Below are some benefits our divorce lawyers near you in the greater Kansas City area can provide throughout the divorce process:
Each county including Jackson, Clay, Cass, Platte, and Lafayette have specific local rules that determine when and what local forms should be filed. Our divorce attorneys are familiar with each counties’ specific paperwork requirements and can work to ensure there are no missed steps.
Our divorce attorneys can assist by guiding you through the grounds for divorce and which right to petition you should use on your dissolution proceedings. Understanding the process, time frames and expenses during a divorce is an important step to ensure that a divorce does not become a costly undertaking.
Our divorce lawyers can guide you through this emotional time by providing objective advice and expertise on divorce negotiations. It is unlikely that you and your spouse will agree on all points regarding separation and a legal battle may ensue involving multiple lawyers, mediation or court representation.
Our divorce lawyers can assist with asset discovery, property division, matters involving children, settlement negotiation and many other aspects of a divorce that arise during discovery and negotiations.
Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is an important negotiation point for divorce. Alimony is typically made in periodic payments or any other basis determined by the court or agreed upon by the parties. Any award of alimony is an avenue for correcting an economic imbalance as a result of a divorce. Our divorce attorneys will discuss your alimony needs throughout the divorce process.
Spousal support is referred to as maintenance in Missouri. When determining whether a maintenance award is appropriate, the court will examine a variety of factors, including the ability of the party seeking maintenance to meet his or her needs independently, the earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living established during the marriage, the obligations and assets of each party, the length of the marriage, and the educational and employment history of the parties.
The timeline for each divorce is unique to the specific facts and circumstances of that particular divorce. The process can take longer if spouses struggle to come to agreement on all aspects of a divorce including, but not limited to, property division, child support, child custody, visitation rights, and more. However, our divorce lawyers strive to complete divorce cases within six months whenever feasible and possible.
No. Missouri is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning marital property, debts, and assets are “equitably” divided rather than split 50/50. The court determines the equitable division based upon a variety of factors such as economic circumstances, age of each spouse, contribution of each spouse to acquisition of property, value of nonmarital property, and many others.
Unlike a divorce or dissolution of marriage, a legal separation does not formally end a marriage. When a judgment is issued, the parties are still married. A legal separation may be appropriate if there is a likelihood of reconciliation or there are other factors such as religion, insurance, etc. For a legal separation, many of the same factors are considered as for a divorce such as division of property, child custody, child support, and others. Our divorce attorneys can help you determine if a legal separation is more appropriate for your unique situation.
It is important that you take early action, even if you do not expect to file for divorce right away. Create a file that includes information about bank accounts, credit card invoices, investment account summaries, retirement assets, etc., so that your attorney will have a clear picture of the assets and debts to be divided. If you have children, you should not involve them in disputes related to the divorce. Divorce creates a period of difficult transition for children. Both you and your spouse should work hard to ensure that the divorce does not create unnecessary disruption in the lives of your children.
Our divorce attorneys located near you in Lee’s Summit, Missouri have assisted many clients with divorces across the greater Kansas City metro including Cass County, Clay County, Jackson County, Lafayette County, and Platte County, and other surrounding counties. Let our Missouri Divorce Lawyers at Siegel & Irwin, LLC work for you. Call us at (816) 836-9950 or contact us online.
Content Reviewed by Kristin Siegel, JD | Attorney at Law
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