A Do It Yourself Divorce in Missouri Guide
If you’re a resident in Missouri looking to divorce your spouse, it’s important to know that there is a process.
A Divorce Petition
That’s the first step. Any common do it yourself divorce in MO begins with a ‘divorce petition,’ a document from a legal aid service. This is written by one spouse who would then be called the Petitioner or Plaintiff. It is then served to the other spouse commonly known as the Respondent or Defendant.
Upon receipt of the petition for divorce, a copy of the document is then sent to the state court in the county of either spouse.
What Is Included in a Divorce Petition?
A do it yourself divorce in Missouri includes the husband’s name, the wife’s name, and the names of the children, if applicable. Any separate properties as well as settlements on property distribution, child custody, child support, and even alimony will also be listed accordingly on the divorce petition.
Steps Toward Serving the Petition
For a do it yourself divorce in MO, the “service of process” then commences. It’s the process by which the Petitioner hand-delivers the petition, also known as the “divorce papers,” to the Respondent. At that time, the Respondent may sign or not sign the document. If the papers are signed, the petition proceeds as typical of any divorce. If the petition is not signed, however, the Petitioner then must file for a default with the court on the petition. In addition, a Respondent may be completely unavailable for whatever reason, in which case the Petitioner must then hire a professional server to locate the Respondent and deliver the papers himself or herself.
Once the Petition Is Served….
When the Respondent signs the papers, a waiting period begins as established by the court to set in motion everything from automatic restraining orders on both parties to a stipulation that children may not be taken out of state for any reason. Properties may not be sold or borrowed against as well as insurance obtained during the marriage may not be sold. In addition, new insurance cannot be obtained during this time.
The Respondent can also file a “response” to the petition to either agree or disagree in part of the divorce or on the whole divorce. A full agreement will most likely push the petition even faster through the channels without even entering into court.
In the event, though, that a Respondent disagrees with even a part of the petition….
What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Agree With the Terms of the Divorce?
Typical disagreements would be issues about custody, support, property, and even the entire do it yourself divorce in Missouri.
Because of this, the petition that proceeds to court to dispute the facts and then come to a decision on all disagreements, whatever they may be.
Once any do it yourself divorce in MO makes it through all disputes in court, the waiting period then continues until the final hearing where the court will decide on whether or not to proceed toward a judgment of divorce or not.