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Divorce, Child Support, and Modifications
The State of Missouri is a “No Fault” divorce state. The filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage initiates divorce proceedings in Missouri. The petition (complaint) for divorce states the basis for the divorce, which includes an allegation of the residency of the filing parties, and the statutorily required reasons for the divorce. Also contained in the divorce petition is a statement of the issues to be addressed by the Court. These issues may include the distribution of assets and liabilities acquired by the parties during the course of the marriage, child custody , alimony , visitation , and child support . After service of the petition for dissolution of marriage on your spouse, he/she must then admit or deny the existence of the issues contained in the petition. Your spouse may also file a counter-petition for divorce, which contains his/her statement of the issues which need to be addressed by the court.
Agreement of the parties
In relatively straight-forward or uncontested divorces, the husband and wife can resolve the issues surrounding their divorce. Once an agreement has been reached by the parties, an attorney can prepare a Settlement Agreement, which formalizes the agreement. The agreement will then be approved by the Court and incorporated into the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
If the husband and wife are unable to reach an agreement on their own, or with the assistance of their attorney, the parties may be ordered to a mediation.
Should the parties be unable to reach an agreement after negotiation and/or mediation on some or all of the marital issues in dispute, both the husband and wife are entitled to have a judge hear the issues at a non-jury trial. At trial, the judge will rule on matters of law, as well as acting as a fact finder. At the close of the proceeding, the judge will then render a ruling consistent with his/her opinion as to the proper resolution of the issues raised. As the Court’s ruling can be rather arbitrary, it is generally in the best interest of the parties to resolve the marital issues through agreement or mediation.
If you are facing a divorce or modification of your divorce or child support issues call the
Johnson Law Offices and let Bryan S. Johnson work to handle your situation as quicky and efficiently as possible.