There is no simple answer to the question “how much time is needed to file a divorce in St. Louis” Many different factors can combine to determine how long a case takes. These factors include whether or not your divorce is contested, the extent of your assets, and the likelihood that your case will go to trial.
While there is no way to guarantee a speedy resolution to your divorce case, our firm is prepared to work tirelessly to help you avoid any unnecessary delays. With our help, you could resolve your divorce case as soon as possible.
Time Limits on Filing for Divorce
To file for divorce in Missouri, you must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days. There are additional requirements in cases where spouses have minor children. It could take up to six months before you can file for divorce with minor children.
There are also special provisions for members of the military serving on active duty in Missouri. While you typically must reside in the state where you file for divorce, these active duty service members can pursue a divorce if they have been stationed in the state for at least 90 days.
Contested vs. Uncontested: How Long Will it Take in St. Louis?
There are two different types of divorce cases: contested and uncontested.
The difference between these two types of divorce cases is important, as uncontested divorces are usually much faster than contested cases. This is because in an uncontested divorce, most if not all of the major issues are resolved prior to filing.
How Long an Uncontested Divorce Takes
An uncontested divorce is your best option for dissolving your marriage in the shortest amount of time possible. The bare minimum your case might take is 30 days, given that this is the shortest amount of time possible under the statute. Once the mandatory 30-way period has expired, the court has the power to conclude your divorce. Realistically, this process will take closer to 90 days for most people.
There are many issues that must be resolved prior to a divorce being finalized, and a couple going through an uncontested divorce must resolve each of them amicably. These issues include:
- The division of marital assets and debt
- The amount of spousal support, if any
- Parenting plans for any children from the marriage
The challenge related to resolving these issues differs from one marriage to another. While financial issues are often challenging, the decisions regarding minor children are the most common area of conflict. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement on each of these issues, they cannot proceed with an uncontested divorce.
How Long a Contested Divorce Takes in St. Louis
Just like with uncontested divorce, a contested divorce faces the statutory minimum of thirty days. The law does not allow a contested divorce to conclude any sooner than that, which is rarely an issue with this type of divorce. In a contested divorce, at least one of the important decisions requires court intervention given that the sides cannot agree.
Because litigation is necessary, there is no maximum time limit restraining these cases. A contested divorce could take months or even years to resolve. The amount of time these cases take will depend on various factors, including:
- The assets and debts held by the couple
- Whether the couple has minor children
- Whether there are allegations of abuse or abandonment
- Whether the parties can reach an agreement on any issues
How a St. Louis Divorce Attorney Could Help
An experienced divorce lawyer could work to secure the dissolution of your marriage in the shortest amount of time possible. What’s more, having the right attorney on your side could also help make this decision painless. By taking on the difficult aspects of negotiating your divorce, your attorney could make life easier for you during this challenging time. If you are ready to discuss your options with an attorney, the J. Rench Law Firm is ready to help. Call right away for your initial consultation.