Call Today 636.552.4841

Divorce FAQ: Answers to Your Most Common Questions

For many, divorce is a first-time experience and spouses are often unsure of what to expect throughout this process or even how to begin. While you should always keep in mind that no two divorces are alike and, therefore, everyone’s experience will differ, there are some basic facts that can help provide some clarity during this undeniably emotional time.

We have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce below, which should give you some good foundational knowledge and give you a better idea of what to expect:

  1. What is a no-fault divorce? In the past, the only way to obtain a divorce was to prove that your spouse engaged in some kind of behavior that was considered a justifiable reason for divorce. Some of these reasons included adultery, spousal abuse, being in prison for a felony, and insanity. Unfortunately, this made it difficult for couples to get a divorce when they could no longer make the marriage work, often requiring a lot of time and money to find some sort of fault with the other spouse. Today, Missouri has passed no-fault divorce laws that allow spouses to dissolve their marriage without having to prove fault.
  1. What is an uncontested divorce? In cases where there is no opposition to the petition for divorce or the terms of the settlement, such as property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody, this is considered to be an uncontested divorce. Keep in mind that you should still involve an attorney even if you and your spouse are in total agreement. This will help ensure that the settlement is fair to you and that he or she is not taking advantage of the amicable nature of your divorce.
  1. What is the divorce process like? The process of divorce begins by filing a document that can be referred to as a complaint or petition. A copy of it will be served to your spouse, which can be done by the sheriff’s office or a process server. Your spouse will have some options as to how he or she can reply to the complaint, which can dictate the path that your divorce case takes from that point forward. For example, if the divorce is contested and you and your spouse cannot work together to negotiate a settlement, your case will have to go through litigation, which will likely result in formal court hearings.
  1. How long does it take to get a divorce finalized? There is no standard rule as to how long a divorce should take. Some can resolve relatively quickly, while others can potentially get drawn out for a substantial period of time if a spouse is uncooperative and the case is particularly complicated. That said, there are some general requirements that can impact the duration of any divorce. This includes residency requirements and awaiting period. If your divorce goes through a contested trial, it could potentially take more time and leave the decision-making regarding your settlement up to the judge.
  1. What if I cannot find my spouse? If you are unsure of the whereabouts of your spouse, you will still be able to get a divorce, though it will take more time since you will have to go through a few extra steps to make it happen. First, you will have to attempt to notify your spouse that you have filed for divorce. Without knowing where he or she is, you will have to check telephone listings in the area where your spouse is last known to have lived, ask friends and family if they know of his or her whereabouts, check with the post office for a forwarding address, or check state records for driver’s license or vehicle registration. If none of these efforts yield any results, you may be able to go through a procedure known as service by publication, which will require you to obtain the court’s permission to publish a notice of the divorce in a newspaper.

Experienced Divorce Attorney in Chesterfield

If you feel that you can no longer make your marriage work and believe that a divorce is the best option moving forward, you need to obtain skilled legal representation to help you navigate the process. At Galmiche Law Firm, P.C., our divorce team in Chesterfield has helped countless individuals dissolve their marriage, regardless of the complications involved. We understand that this is not an easy time for you or your family, which is why we seek to provide knowledgeable and compassionate assistance to every client we serve.

Get started on your case today and contact our law firm at (636) 552-4841 to learn more about what we can do for you.