Child custody is determined by several statutory factors:
- The best interest of the child
- Your child’s relationship with parents, siblings, and others
- The child’s wishes
- Your ability to allow frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent
- The physical and mental health of all individuals involved
If you are dealing with difficult child support issues, I will make sure that your rights are protected and your child’s best interests are served.
Assets and Property
You have the right to secure a fair and equitable distribution of assets and debts that were accumulated throughout the course of your marriage. That is what the law requires. As your experienced attorney, I work with you and your spouse’s lawyer to arrive at an equitable and fair distribution of assets. Using the Property Statement form you are required to fully and accurately complete, we work towards an agreement on the division of your assets and debts.
Alimony, now known as maintenance, is the most difficult issue. Maintenance is an emotionally and legally complex issue. No one wants to pay maintenance to an ex-spouse. But it can happen when a spouse is physically or mentally incapable of supporting themselves. There are just too many factors that impact how this issue can be resolved. I have the experience and knowledge to evaluate and analyze the minefield of maintenance.
How Does Divorce Work in Missouri?
The legal term for divorce in Missouri is the dissolution of marriage. The spouse who is filing for a divorce is referred to as the petitioner. The spouse receiving the divorce request is the respondent. At least one spouse must live in Missouri for 90 days before they can file for divorce.
The divorce begins by filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Most petitions look the same since the law mandates what must be included in the petition. See 452.310 RSMo. St. Louis County requires the Income and Expense and Property Statement forms be filed with the Petition. The Respondent is required to file an Answer to the Petition.
Both spouses are required to file Income and Expense and Property Statement forms. These forms provide basic information about assets, debts, income, and expenses. This is just the beginning to determine the nature, extent, and value of the marital estate. Next, we exchange or request all supporting documents to further analyze the marital estate. This process can and usually does take a month or two.
How I Can Help You with Your Divorce Case
There are so many issues, rules, procedures, laws, and other requirements it would be very difficult if not impossible to get through a divorce without an experienced lawyer. I can advise you to prepare before you file for divorce and during the divorce process. Being properly advised and prepared can help you avoid painful mistakes.
As your divorce attorney, I will provide the following legal services:
- Handle all paperwork and manage your entire case from start to finish
- Engage with all relevant parties on your behalf
- Investigate your case and obtain evidence that protects your rights
- Help you address sensitive issues such as drugs, abuse, or infidelity
- Fight to protect your rights regarding assets, property, and child custody
I have the experience necessary to guide you through these complexities and to give you the legal support you need throughout the divorce process.
There Are Only Two Ways to Get Divorced
Sounds limiting, doesn’t it? But it’s true. You either come to an agreement or you go to trial. Approximately 95% of all divorces resolve by agreement. The system is set up to get people to arrive at a mutual agreement. There are not enough judges or days in the year for everyone to go to trial. In addition, trial is outrageously time-consuming and expensive. An expense an experienced divorce lawyer can help you avoid with sound legal advice and counsel. Divorce is difficult. You don’t want to be broke when it’s over. That’s why you need my counsel.