The process of filing for divorce may seem overwhelming. While every divorce is unique, the legal process in Missouri requires several common steps.
This is a request that the court dissolve your marriage, and it is the first document that is filed. This document sets out facts that tell the court that it has the power to grant your divorce.
It requires certain information, such as:
This document is filed at the same time as the Petition, and it sets out all of your property, the value of the property, and whether you consider the property to be joint or separate. This document must be prepared with your lawyer, as it can be used against you at trial.
The next step in filing is the Service of Process. Once you have filed for divorce, all of the documents you have filed with the state of Missouri are referred to as Service Documents. They must be delivered by a Sheriff or a Special Process Server to your spouse. They are hand-deliver to the Respondent's home, place of employment, or any other place where they can be found.
Discovery is the process where each party takes steps to find out information and obtain documentation about the issues involved in the filing for divorce.
Discovery takes many forms, including:
Once you have filed for divorce, the parties meet with the judge to settle case or narrow the issues for trial. The Judge usually takes this opportunity to give the parties an idea of his or her interpretation of the law so that everyone comes away with an idea of how the court may rule.