Many people think divorce involves a long and arduous court battle over various issues. However, this isn’t the only option for all couples. Many married individuals opt for uncontested divorces or mediated divorces to avoid the courtroom entirely.
If you want to avoid court, the best way to do so is to agree on as much as possible about the divorce before proceeding with filing. For example, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division might take a long time in court if you can’t compromise on them ahead of time. If you can both agree on terms, you can proceed with an uncontested divorce.
Both individuals can file a joint petition, attached a copy of their written agreement, and proceed with a hearing with a judge. If the judge finds the agreement is sound, he or she will sign the divorce order. Missouri has a mandatory 30-day waiting period before you can finalize the divorce; however, after that time your marriage will officially be over.
Alternatively, if you and your spouse can’t agree on terms, you could try going with a mediated divorce. A mediated divorce is a semi-informal meeting of yourself, your spouse, and a mediator, a neutral 3rd party who will be there to help you and your spouse reach an agreement. This process is typically faster and cheaper than going to court, which is why many individuals choose this option.
Last, if you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement through a mediator, you and your spouse will need to go to court. The courtroom procedure will involve scheduling a hearing with a judge and presenting arguments for your side and against your spouse’s side regarding whatever subject you disagree on. Both spouses are usually represented by their own lawyer, who will argue on their behalf. Court cases are typically the most expensive option, mostly because of the extensive legal fees that accrue when you have to attend several different court hearings.
If you’re curious about divorcing without going to court, give our skilled St. Charles divorce attorneys a call. Smith Law Offices, LLC has more than 20 years of legal experience helping people negotiate the terms of their divorce or representing people’s interests in court. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us to schedule a case consultation with our attorneys today.