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Lee's Summit Divorce Attorneys

ALTIERI GILMORE LLP | 816-524-0404

Experienced Lee's Divorce Attorneys

Lee's Summit Family Law Office

For comprehensive representation  with  divorce and family law cases, the office of Altieri Gilmore LLP, is second to none in the state of Missouri. We have extensive experience thru out  our career on divorce and  family law matters. We  employ  a team approach strategy  to effectively  identify and implement the absolute best solutions for our law clients. At Altieri Gilmore LLP we partner withan extensive range of legal professionals, including social workers, financial advisors, psychologists, private investigators and tax professionals, in order to help you acheive the outcome of your case that you want. Although our family law attorneys  have extensive divorce  litigation experience, we can also help you implement other means of a positive outcome for your legal matters, including family law mediation , negotiated settlements and a collaborative divorce process, in order to negotiate  your differences and come to a positive outcome. Contact us now to set up a confidential meeting at 816-524-0404.

 

Altieri Gilmore LLP Family Law Practice

Our dedicated divorce attorneys practice extensively with family law cases, handling all issues related to:

If you are experiencing problems in your relationship and it's leaning heavily towards the possibility that your marriage is ending but you want to attempt  to work thru your family law differences with an ettempt to avoid anger, bitterness and resentfulness, we can represent your family law case  in a collaborative divorce proceeding, this will help the two of you to amicably settle all of your martial disagreements without the intervention of the court system. We are also very knowledgeable about the special circumstances that arise  in military divorce court proceedings and we can represent either parties  in these military proceedings. We are thoroughly committed to providing each and every client with an outstanding  high level representation,  dedicated personal service and focused attention. When you retain Altieri Gilmore LLP to resolve your marital, divorce and family law circumstances, we will individually take the time to learn about you and your family and take the time needed to extensively formulate the best possible strategy get the results and outcome you want to achieve. Thru out the process and proceedings we will keep you fully informed and up to date of all of the circumstances and developments in your family law case, as well as of your legal options and likelihood of a successful outcome, so that you can make advised and educated decisions that protect your families future.

Contact Our Office Today To Set Up A Private Consultation

Contact us now to schedule a one on one consultation with one of our divorce attorneys  call us at 816-524-0404,
Let our legal team of Altieri Gilmore LLP put its experience, legal expertise, knowledge and skill to work for you and your family.

Altieri Gilmore LLP Serves the Cities of: 

 
  • Lee’s Summit
  • Kansas City
  • Blue Springs
  • Raytown
  • Harrisonville
  • Belton
  • Peculiar
  • Greenwood
 
  • Independence Mo
  • Lone Jack
  • Grandview
  • Greenwood
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Warrensburg
  • Oak Grove
  • Sugar Creek
  • Odessa
 

Q&A about divorce proceedings in Missouri.

 

 

 

What exactly is a "dissolution of marriage"?

In almost all jurisdictions, the legal process and proceeding for ending a marriage is called “divorce.” In the state of Missouri, this is called dissolution of marriage, because the martial bonds of matrimony are becoming dissolved.

 

 

Is there anything else  I should know about before filing for dissolution of marriage or filing for divorce?

For starters, you need to know and understand thoroughly that when a married couple is divorcing and the spouses agree and get along without fighting, the process and proceeding to dissolution of marriage can be easy; when spouses are angry, disagree on circumstances and fight with each other, the process of dissolution of marriage  is drawn out , ruff and can get very expensive.

The state of Missouri has a completely separate Family Court system, with specific judges who only see dissolution of marriage proceedings on a daily basis and who closely monitor and scrutinize any divorce proceeding involving children. Extensive  standards are put forth and followed for determining child custody issues and proceedings, such as who receives custody of the children, when, where, how and with what custody restrictions will be applied

.

 

Are there any other alternatives to court proceedings in Missouri?

In the state of Missouri, recently there has been an extensive shift  towards alternative family law dispute resolution especially when  parenting issues are involved, such as child custody and visitation rights. In Missouri the spouses  will have to go to a mediation process if they  cannot amicably agree on a parenting plan for the children; if the Missouri court thinks that  it is absolutely necessary or that it will be helpful in your proceedings, the two of you will have to continue mediating these separate issues.

If the spouses are in disagreement over parenting plan issues, a guardian ad litem will be specifically appointed for you and your spouses children to represent their best interests.

Both spouses will  share all costs of these extra added services.  You will be well advised to try as best you can to agree from the start of the process or you and your spouse will end up possibly spending thousands of dollars on legal professionals that  will then make legal recommendations to the Missouri court system  about when, where and how your kids  should live  their lives. And possibly your kids will become pawns in your divorce fight, and possibly could  end up resenting both of you when it’s all said and done. Its recommended that you pick your arguments very carefully.

 

 

How do I get started with  my case to get a dissolution of marriage in Missouri?

To start a dissolution of marriage case in Missouri, you must first:

  •  File and complete  a “petition for dissolution of marriage,” which is the first  initial pleading (legal document) that tells the Missouri court who you and your spouse are, where you got married at (city and state), and certain other facts about your marriage. You need to include all of the information required by the statute (Section 452.310.2). ·        
  • File and prepare  a parenting plan, if you have minor children (under the age of 18). (Section 452.310.8.)
  • File a Missouri Family Court Information Sheet, in some Missouri counties.
  • Get the Missouri  court to issue a “summons” (a paper that lets the other spouse know that the case has been entered, started and giving them a copy of the petition).
  • Pay the filing fees associated, which is usually generally set by the local rules of the circuit court that  your case is filed in.

If you will be  hiring  a lawyer for your case, make sure the lawyer  practices law  in the county that  you live and reside in. Your county's specific court rules will ultimately dictate some of the proceedings, and an experienced divorce lawyer will know which legal  forms to file by when to file them.

If you ultimately decide not to hire a lawyer for your case, you will be the one responsible for knowing and following the state and county rules for your  divorce proceedings and actions.

 

 

In Missouri what are the grounds for a dissolution of marriage?

The state of Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, which essentially means that if one spouse testifies that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and there is almost no likelihood the marriage or relationship can be salvaged, the said spouses will receive their dissolution of marriage and the marriage will legally be over. In Missouri there is not a need for one of the spouses to put blame on the other or to tell the Missouri court what has caused the marriage to be disolved.

 

 

Do I have to currently reside in the state of Missouri to file for a dissolution of marriage  in this  state?

Yes, you and or your spouse must have been a Missouri resident for at least 90 consecutive days before you can file a petition for dissolution of marriage. In Missouri this is called the "residency requirement"

 

 

Where do I file my dissolution case in Missouri?

In the state of Missouri the county where you or your spouse currently reside is where you will need to file. 

 

 

When the "petition for dissolution" is filed, what does the other spouse do in most cases?

The the petition is filed the other spouse will prepare and file a legal document called an "answer." The answer document must admit or deny the stated facts in the petition for dissolution. The answer document must be filed no later than 30 days after the petition for dissolution is served. 

 

 

What happens if the other spouse doesn’t file an answer?

In Missouri if the other spouse doesn't file an answer document, that spouse will technically be in default. This would now mean that the Missouri court could enter on their behalf a default judgment granting you the dissolution of marriage. However if this happens, you can not obtain a money judgment against a spouse in a default judgment. Also, the Missouri court will  likely set aside the default judgment if the other party requests it to be set aside. 

 

 

How can I file my petition for dissolution if I can't locate my spouse? 

If you can’t find your spouse or you don’t know where they are located, there are a couple of things you can do:

·        You may serve your petition for dissolution by “a publication,” which usually requires you to run a notice in a Missouri court-approved publication or other newspaper agency. This is a standard and acceptable way to technically achieve a petition as served, but with this process you can't do much more than get divorce achieved.

·        You could hire a local private investigator to track down and attempt to locate your spouse, which can be a good possibility   if you have reason to believe that your spouse is still in or close to your local area. 

·        Another option is you can run an online records check to attempt to look for a last known address of your spouse or any other contact information that may be available online, including their place of employment, past employment. On many occasions you can ask your attorney or private investigator to do a records search for you.

 

 

What typically happens after my spouse files an answer document?

It usually depends on which county in Missouri your case is filed in, whether there are children involved, what kind of real estate, businesses, debts and personal property you both have, and so forth.

As a general rule you can expect in part some of the following:

·        The Missouri court system in some jurisdictions and counties may issue a temporary order to preserve the status quo while the divorce case is pending. Some courts in Missouri will issue a blanket form order. Some other courts will wait for a one of the spouses to request these blanket orders to be filed.

·        Paperwork and discovery is exchanged between the spouses attorneys, typically on pre-printed forms that will require you and your spouse to exchange any documents and information relevant to your case and to report all of your income, businesses, real estate, property, and debts, both marital and non-marital in nature.

·        You and your spouse may have to sign up for and attend a parenting educational class if you and your spouse have minor children.

·        In Missouri you and your spouse will also be required to attend a mediation process if you have minor children. 

·        As soon as the other spouse has submitted the answer document (or if 30 days has passed from the date of service) you may obtain  a court date for dissolution. As with everything involved in dissolution proceedings, local Missouri state rules will dictate exactly how and when you obtain a court date, so make sure to check your Missouri county dissolution of marriage rules.

·        As soon as the two parties exchange all relevant information about their real estate, debts, assets, income, and personal property, the lawyers representing both spouses should communicate with each other to decide whether or not the divorce case can be set forth and settled. If it is determined that it can be settled, one of the sides, either you or your spouse will draft up a proposed settlement agreement and send it to the spouse for review.  

 

 

Does each spouse split our real estate and personal property 50/50?

The state of Missouri is not a community property (50/50) state. Missouri lets the  family court system  divide all marital property by an equitable distribution, this means the courts  will separate marital assets between both spouses in whichever way they decide is equitable (fair for both parties), but not necessarily equally to both parties.

When the courts make decisions about property separating and division, they take a lot of factors into consideration when determining this, including:

  • ·        Each spouse's income and economic circumstances.
  • ·        The amount of contribution that each spouse had to acquire the property.
  • ·        The real value of each spouses non marital property and real estate.
  • ·        The conduct of the divorcing  spouses (what is commonly called "grounds for divorce").
  • ·        Where the kids will live at (often, the spouse that gets the children also gets the real estate). 

Even under this type of legal system though, the Missouri courts will a lot of times generally make an equal division of property and assets, unless they see overwhelming and compelling reasons not to do this.

 

 

How is alimony determined and decided in Missouri?

In the past it was very common for husbands to routinely pay alimony. These days however, what was once called "alimony" is now routinely called "maintenance" in the state of Missouri, and is not as easy to obtain.

In Missouri there is a threshold test that a spouse has to meet to obtain maintenance. This is the criteria:The spouse must:

  • ·        lack sufficient real estate or property, including all marital property given to the spouse in the dissolution, to provide for your personal needs, and the spouse  must
  • ·        be unable to support him or herself  through employment or because the spouse is the custodial parent of a child whose mental or physical condition or circumstances make the spouse unable  to work. 

In Missouri if you pass the threshold test, then the Missouri court will take into consideration ten factors in order to decide on the amount of maintenance a spouse will get: 

  • ·        the financial circumstances and resources available of a spouse asking for maintenance
  • ·        the time that is needed in order for the spouse seeking maintenance to get the proper education and or training necessary to get employment
  • ·        the relative employment and financial earning power of each spouse
  • ·        the past standard of living thru out the marriage
  • ·        each spouses debts (such as credit cards and loans)  and both spouses assets (including all assets  awarded to each spouse in the divorce)
  • ·        the total time that the marriage lasted
  • ·        the current age and physical and emotional state of each spouse
  • ·        and whether the paying party can meet his or her own needs while paying the maintenance amount
  • ·        the overall conduct of each spouse during the marriage
  • ·        any other facts that are relevant(for example, if one spouse payed for the other to go to school or financially supported the other during the course of the marriage). 

 

 

In a dissolution of marriage in Missouri what will happen with children? 

Missouri dissolution of marriage laws favor joint custody, in which both parents share major life decisions and each spouse has significant (but sometimes not always equal) time to spend with the children. 

There is a complex and important scheme for determining child custody in Missouri, set forth in Section 452.330.

It would be advised to have an experienced local Missouri attorney such as Alterie Gilmore LLP,that is skilled and competent in child custody cases, to help assist you in working up and advocating a good parenting plan that the Missouri judge assigned to your dissolution case will accept.

 

 

 

How do  child support payments work In Missouri?

Missouri child support is calculated through a mathematical equation that takes into account the both parents' income, how much time both parents spend with the children, the child's wants, needs, and a few other factors.

Like most other states in the US, Missouri has its own child support calculator that can help both spouses figure out how much financially they can expect to be paying or receiving. 

 

 

What is some other advice to give someone filing for divorce in Missouri?

One thing that is very important not to forget about dissolution of marriage and divorce is that at one time you loved your spouse, and especially, if you have a child or children together, you most definitely love your children. 

But in turn don't let this fact that you once loved your spouse excuse abuse (physical, mental or emotional), neglect, or interfere with your most important role as an active parent in your children’s life. Be very clear and proactive about your parental rights and the rights that your children have as well. Try your hardest not to be petty, but sit there and be a doormat. And absolutely do not use your children as pawns in the divorce.

Contact us now to schedule a one on one consultation with one of our divorce attorneys call us at 816-524-0404

 

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