Sunday, November 10, 2013

Will you need to appear in court for an uncontested divorce?

Court Appearance Required for an Uncontested Divorce?

In many Missouri courts an uncontested divorce can be filed and, after the 30-day mandatory waiting period ends, submitted to the court for finalizing without a party ever appearing in court.  This assumes, of course, that at least one party has retained an uncontested divorce attorney to handle their case.

For a Judgment for Dissolution to be entered in Missouri, there have to be certain legal findings.  For example, the court must find that the marriage of the parties is irretrievably broken, that at least one party has lived in Missouri for 90 days prior to the filing of the Petition for Dissolution, that the Wife is not currently pregnant, among some other things.

In order to make these findings, the court needs evidence.  This evidence can delivered through testimony, for example, or documents, or a number of other methods.  When the issues are not in dispute - i.e., in an uncontested case - the parties can agree to the issues surrounding the case, and admit through a written, sworn affidavit all of the facts that the court needs to make the findings required to order a dissolution of the parties' marriage.

The affidavit then, in essence, replaces a parties in-court testimony.  Instead of your attorney putting you on the stand and asking, "isn't it true you have lived in Missouri for 90 days prior to the filing of the petition for dissolution . . . isn't it true you and your spouse were married on such-and-such date . . . isn't it true your marriage is registered in whatever county . . . etc," you can simply sign an affidavit admitting to these facts and answering these questions.  Submitting the case on affidavit promotes judicial efficiency and allows the parties to avoid the hassle and, as some feel, the intimidation and nervousness that comes with being sworn in, put on the stand, and delivering testimony.

If you have any other questions regarding Missouri uncontested divorce, please visit my page at or email me (

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

Gerald W. Linnenbringer, Missouri Uncontested Divorce Attorney