Bridging The Head And The Heart Together In Your Divorce
A divorce is undoubtedly stressful and heartbreaking, and your life is about to change completely. Our family law attorneys at Albano, Richart, Welch & Bajackson, LLC, have decades of experience helping clients through some of the worst times of their life.
A divorce involves emotions and legal technicalities. When you work with our divorce lawyers, we take over the legal side so you can focus on yourself and your family. We will work with you to protect your children, assets and future. We serve Independence and the greater Kansas City area and provide personalized attention and care to all our clients.
Your Guide To The Divorce Process
The first step is filing a petition for marriage dissolution at the circuit clerk’s office in the county courthouse where you or your spouse lives. Our divorce attorneys can help you put together the forms you need and help you file. When you file a petition, a copy will be delivered to the sheriff or a process server and then served to your spouse.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to settle your divorce outside of court. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution methods can help you avoid a stressful and costly court battle.
You Do Not Have To Prove Fault To Have Grounds For Divorce In Missouri And Kansas
Missouri and Kansas are no-fault states. This means that it is not necessary to show that one of the parties is at fault for the cause of the divorce. In Missouri, the statutory basis for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, meaning there is no likelihood that the couple can preserve the marriage. If the court does not find the marriage is irretrievably broken, a legal separation will be granted instead of a dissolution.
While divorces are not granted based on fault, marital fault can be a factor in determining other issues in the divorce. Courts may consider extramarital affairs, dissipation of marital assets, and improperly increasing marital debt as factors in deciding spousal maintenance and division of property.
When Do Missouri Courts Allow Divorce Modifications?
If your circumstances have changed and your existing divorce judgment is now unfair, you can seek a modification from the Missouri courts. Whether you have a change in income or have gotten remarried, Missouri allows you to petition to modify your divorce arrangements regarding spousal maintenance, child support and child custody.
The state requires that a petition for modification shows that the changed circumstances are substantial and make the terms unreasonable. This can happen at any time, but the modification only impacts payments due after the petition’s date of service.
Different Options For Divorce
Filing for divorce is one of the most difficult decisions you will make. The process can be complex and overwhelming, and you may need help figuring out where to start. Missouri and Kansas have two types of divorce, uncontested and contested divorce.
You can file for an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse agree on all critical aspects of your dissolution of marriage, including property division and child custody. There will still be one petitioner for an uncontested divorce, but certain settlement documents need to be drafted and signed by both parties before any type of judgment is properly before the Court for the Court’s consideration. Uncontested divorces are often much faster and are an excellent option for couples who want to divorce as soon as possible.
A contested divorce is what you file for when you and your spouse cannot agree on all issues involved in your divorce. A contested Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, as referred to in Missouri, and a contested divorce decree or Petition for Divorce, as referred to Kansas, may very well lead to a trial. This process typically takes longer and is much more expensive. Working with an experienced family law attorney is vital to protect you and your interests.
The Importance Of Working With A Divorce Attorney Who Will Advocate For You
Divorces are undoubtedly stressful. Aside from the emotional impacts and significant life changes, you are going through; you also have to deal with legal forms and procedures. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help relieve some of that burden.
As you negotiate the terms of your divorce, you might be unable to agree with your spouse on the division of assets or child custody. When this happens, a divorce lawyer can help protect your interests and advocate on your behalf. Through the intense emotions of divorce proceedings, an attorney can help you communicate with your spouse and their counsel. Good communication throughout the process can help move the divorce forward professionally and smoothly.
Taking The Next Step Forward
We understand how challenging it is to take that next step and face your divorce head-on. We can help protect your family as you take the next steps in your life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Kansas City area divorce attorney at 816-533-7673 or online.