The divorce process in Missouri can be quite exhausting, emotionally and legally. From a purely legal perspective, a detailed division and separation of the assets must take place. This includes debts — not just bank accounts, real estate, brokerage accounts, cars, etc. This asset distribution is made more complicated when assets like 401(k)s, IRAs, and other types of retirement accounts must be divided because such things are not easily divided.
Maintenance cases, furthermore, can make things all the more complicated. Maintenance (which we used to call alimony) is appropriate when one spouse’s reasonable needs may only be meet if the other spouse pays money to him/her to maintain the standard of living and reasonable needs met during the marriage. The length of the marriage and earning capacity here. It’s one thing to have a couple who have been married for a short period of time and each make $50,000 per year; it is an entirely different thing to have a couple in which one spouse does not work and the other spouse makes $300,000 per year.
More importantly, during a divorce process in which the parties have children, an exhaustive parenting plan must be set forth which details custody and support arrangements. Furthermore, the parenting plan may be modified when there is a substantial change in circumstances.
Compounding the complexity of the issue is that several counties in Missouri have different local rules for handling a divorce. For instance, Saint Louis County requires that a party simultaneously answer discovery requests/responses when serving discovery on an opposing party. Jefferson County will often require a mediation when there are minor children involved. Saint Louis City requires specific notice in the Petition for divorce when there is a child custody dispute on the horizon.
Contact us for a free consultation relating to divorce.