How most divorces unfold

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce on Friday, February 14, 2020.

While not every divorce that occurs in Missouri will follow the exact path from start to finish, there are several steps that generally occur in all cases. For example, the process typically begins with one spouse filing a formal complaint. The complaint will state why he or she wants to dissolve the marriage and propose a process for dividing marital assets. It must be filed both with the court and with the other party to the marriage.

The spouse who is served with the summons will be given about three weeks to answer the complaint. If no response is filed, a court may enter a judgement based on the terms the person initiating the proceeding proposed. If the other spouse disputes the proposed terms, it may be necessary to enter into mediation. Either before or during a mediation session, financial and other documents will be exchanged between the two parties.

If a settlement can be reached through mediation, the settlement will be presented to a judge for his or her approval. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial. At trial, each side will have a chance to present evidence in an effort to obtain a favorable outcome. After hearing the evidence, a judge will rule on property division, alimony and other issues relevant to the case.

In many cases, using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for divorce may it easier to reach a settlement in a timely fashion. Doing so may help to preserve a person’s financial and emotional health. Using ADR methods might be ideal for parents as it can limit a child’s exposure to a potentially toxic situation. A legal representative may be able to talk more about resolving a divorce outside of court and the benefits of doing so.

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