Divorce Attorney in Thayer, Missouri
Ending a marriage may be one of the most challenging experiences in your life. Some situations could become even more difficult if you are not familiar with Missouri’s divorce laws or do not understand your rights when getting a divorce.
Regardless of the circumstances, divorce can be an emotional and financial upset. You must seek legal counsel from a divorce attorney in Thayer, Missouri, to help you navigate the process of ending your marriage. As an experienced and reliable divorce attorney at The Law Office of Fred O'Neill, I also assist clients in The Ozarks, West Plains, and North Central Arkansas.
Eligibility to File for Divorce in Missouri
Missouri law requires that at least one spouse lives in the state of Missouri for 90 days or longer before filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. If neither spouse has lived in the state for the required amount of time, you are not eligible to file for divorce.
In Missouri, the judge will grant a divorce if at least 30 days have passed since the filing of the petition.
Is Missouri a Fault or No-fault State?
Like many other states, Missouri has adopted the no-fault divorce law, which means either spouse is not required to prove fault on the part of the other spouse to get a divorce.
However, Missouri law requires the spouse filing for divorce to show that their marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be repaired by the parties. The judge will grant a no-fault divorce if both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Missouri?
While Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, there are also fault-based grounds for divorce. If at least one spouse does not believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the judge will not grant a no-fault divorce. In that case, the spouse who filed the petition for the dissolution must prove one of the following grounds for divorce:
Adultery (the spouse cheated on you)
Abandonment (the spouse abandoned you for at least six consecutive months)
You and your spouse lived separately for at least 12 consecutive months by mutual consent, or 24 consecutive months without mutual consent (mutual consent means that both parties agree to live separately and apart)
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Missouri recognizes two types of divorce:
Contested divorce: The spouses cannot agree on all issues, including alimony, child custody, child support, and property division. In contested divorces, the spouses must take their case to court to have a judge decide the disputed issues for them.
Uncontested divorce: The spouses agree on all divorce-related matters without going to court. Typically, uncontested divorces are not as costly, lengthy, and hostile as contested ones.
Even if you reached an agreement with your spouse, you might want to consult with a divorce attorney in Thayer, Missouri, to help you draft an enforceable agreement and ensure that the terms of the agreement are fair.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
In most cases, a divorce is a lengthy and costly process. Each divorce case is unique, which is why the amount of time it takes to get a divorce depends on many factors, including the number of contested issues, the willingness of both parties to cooperate, the duration of the marriage, whether the divorce involves minor children and many others.
In most uncontested divorces, parties can get a divorce within 90-180 days from the date the divorce petition was filed. Contested divorces, on the other hand, can take from six to 12 months to finalize. Some cases take even longer than a year.
Serving Thayer, Missouri
As a family law attorney with 30 years of experience, I can guide you through the process of ending your marriage in Thayer, Missouri. As a divorce attorney at The Law Office of Fred O'Neill, I will provide compassionate representation throughout the process. Schedule a consultation today by reaching out to my office. I proudly serve clients in Thayer, The Ozarks, West Plains, Missouri, and North Central Arkansas.