Going through a divorce is one of the toughest things that anyone ever experiences during their lifetime. Dealing with the pressure that comes with it is not comparable to anything else, and the only thing a person wants is for the process to go smoothly and without any problems. With that in mind, couples filing for divorce without any disputes can be considered lucky since they do not have to go through any conflict during the divorce process. If you are a couple living in Missouri and want to get an uncontested divorce, you have the option of getting an online divorce as well. To give you a detailed understanding of how it works, we will share the key details in this article.
Understanding the Concept of Uncontested Divorce
Before you can start thinking about online divorce in Missouri
, you need to understand what makes a divorce uncontested. The couple needs to agree on all critical parts of their divorce with no objections. In Missouri, this can include asset and property division, debt division, custody for the children, visitation rights for the parent who does not have custody, the amount of alimony to be paid, and the amount allocated for child support.
The Process for Attaining Online Divorce in Missouri
Like many other states, Missouri only allows people to apply for divorce online if their divorce is uncontested and they meet the state requirements.
Requirements for Obtaining Divorce in Missouri
Every couple must meet certain basic requirements before they can be eligible to apply for a divorce in Missouri. Like every state, Missouri has residency requirements that must be met to apply for divorce within the state. In Missouri, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 90 days.
The other key requirement is providing grounds for divorce. This is when you let the court know why your marriage cannot continue. Missouri is a no-fault state, which means couples who want uncontested divorces can do so without hurling insults at their spouses or having to prove to the court that they cannot continue being married to each other.
To go through the process, here are all the key steps you need to take when getting a divorce in Missouri.
Petitioning and Responding
Either spouse can file for divorce online and get their partner involved later. The person filing for divorce is called a petitioner. After they file the paperwork initiating the process, the petitioner must deliver a copy of the completed forms to their partner, called the “respondent.” The process of handing over papers to your partner is called “serving.” Once the respondent has been served, they will be required to respond to the divorce papers and share their “answer.”
There is a time limit (25-30 days) for the respondent to submit their response. If your partner does not respond within the designated time or does not show up at the final hearing for your case, you can get the divorce yourself without needing their presence for the final hearing in the divorce process. The case will move forward as a default divorce that is not contested and is executed according to the paperwork filed by the petitioner.
Online Form Preparation
Online divorce (also called divorce over the internet
) refers to a special service that helps couples prepare all the needed divorce forms. The basic process includes choosing an online divorce service, answering questions about the marriage and dissolution, then receiving court-ready documents for your case. The system uses the information you provided in the questionnaire to select and fill out the appropriate forms. Thus, spouses are freed from boring paperwork while receiving quality papers ready for court filing.
Filling and Submission
After the forms are ready, make two copies before taking them to court for filing. Another significant advantage of online divorce is that the service provides step-by-step instructions on how to file for divorce. Thus, the spouses can do everything themselves, saving on lawyer fees.
The court will charge a filing fee of around $160. In a do-it-yourself uncontested divorce, since you do not need a lawyer, this may be the only other expense you will bear. The total cost of divorce for uncontested cases can be relatively inexpensive. Another good thing about Missouri is that it allows a fee waiver for its residents. You will have to provide financial information to the court to evaluate if you fulfill the criteria for getting a waiver.
Time Requirements for Uncontested Divorce in Missouri
If you have submitted all your documents for divorce accurately, without any mistakes, the court will typically take about 30 days before officiating the divorce. The 30 days are mandatory in Missouri. The main purpose of this time is to help the petitioner finish any unmet requirements. Once everything is cleared, you can get a court date to appear in front of the judge. If the judge sees that all the conditions decided by you and your spouse in your divorce documents are fair for everyone, they will immediately sign your divorce order.
Asking for Help
You may be looking to go through the divorce process without an attorney, but it is still a good idea to get help or even assistance at some stages. Online divorce services
are an affordable and convenient option for assistance with paperwork preparation. Online divorce companies make sure that all your documents are in order and provide you with guidance for filing with the court. This little service can save you from the high fees you pay an attorney and ensure that your process is swift and smooth.