Divorce: A General Timeline
A General Divorce Timeline
While each divorce presents its own unique issues and challenges, it is important for you and your spouse to familiarize yourselves with the general process. Familiarizing with the basic steps in divorce can help to make the transition smooth and free of surprise.
1. Contact an Attorney. He or she will draft a petition for dissolution, stating the reason for the divorce and how the client would like to go about settling other issues such as finances, property division, and child custody.
2. The petition is filed with the court.
3. After filing, the petition needs to be served on the other party, along with a summons requesting their response. If a response is not given, the court will assume that your spouse agrees to everything set forth in your petition.
4. The other party has a certain amount of time to file an answer to the petition. In Missouri, the opposing party is generally given 30 days to respond.This answer gives your spouse the opportunity to voice his or her preferences on how the details of the divorce will be handled.
5. At this point in time, the parties exchange information on the details of custody and finances. This information is very crucial to the couple’s or the court’s decision on how to handle maintenance and child support.
6. It is important to note that, at this point in the process, many couples reach a settlement, meaning they come to their own terms of agreement and do not proceed to trial.
7. If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial. There, the unresolved issues at hand will be decided. These decisions are appealable.
Helpful St. Louis Divorce Attorney
It is difficult to determine the length of time your divorce will take. Naturally, uncontested divorces will not take as much of your time and financial resources as a complex divorce. In general, the more you and your spouse agree on, the shorter the process will be. For more information on the divorce timeline, or to fully discuss your options, contact a St. Louis Divorce Attorney today.