Friday, September 27, 2013

Timeline for a Missouri uncontested divorce

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Missouri?

I can't speak for other lawyers (they generally talk enough as is), but here is the rough timeline I provide clients when they ask how long their uncontested divorce will take:

First, with my uncontested divorce process, things start once I have information and payment.  The information will be provided to me through a face-to-face interview or through in intake packet that the client can fill out remotely and then return to me once completed.  It doesn't matter how I get the information, whether through an interview or remotely through my intake packet, it's completely up to the client.  Payment can be done at the conclusion of the face-to-face interview, or it can be submitted with the completed intake packet.  Exact pricing and the details of the transaction and representation are worked out on a case-to-case basis, of course.

Once I have information and payment, I draft all of the paperwork necessary to facilitate the uncontested divorce.  The substantive documents in the divorce are the Marital Settlement Agreement and the Parenting Plan (if children are involved).  Because these documents are so important, the settlement, of course, controlling the disposition of property and debt, and the parenting plan outlining the custody and support plan pertaining to the children, I send PDF versions of these pleadings to my client.  I ask that the client review the documents closely with his or her spouse and to get back to me with whatever revisions, edits, corrections, etc. that need to be made.  The parties generally prefer to have an opportunity to print these pleadings and review them carefully in the comfort of their home or office, as opposed to bringing them into my office and asking them to review everything while I sit across from them.

Once everything is signed, we're ready to file.  There is a set of coversheets that must accompany the initial filings, and the everything must be submitted to the court in person, so it can take a day or two from the date of signing to get things filed.  However, since if the case is not filed, we're not making any progress towards getting through the 30-day mandatory waiting period, I try to get my divorces filed as soon as possible after the client and spouse sign.

Once the 30-day waiting period lapses, I go in, pull the court file, and present everything to the Judge.  If he or she finds that everything is in order and the settlement agreement (and parenting plan, if applicable) is acceptable to the Court, the divorce is final upon the Judge signing off on the Judgment.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Gerald W. Linnenbringer, Missouri Uncontested Divorce Attorney