There are a number of factors that can impact how long it takes for you to get a divorce in Missouri. The law sets a minimum amount of time for the process that cannot be altered, but many divorce cases take much longer. Delays and disputes can make the process drag on for months or even for years.
The good news is that there are some steps you can take to get the fastest divorce possible in Missouri. While a quick outcome is never guaranteed, it is possible to avoid delays and ensure all requirements are met. A Missouri divorce attorney could help you get the result you need so that you can move on with your life sooner rather than later.
The Minimum Time to Divorce in Missouri
According to state law, there is a minimum amount of time that must expire before a final divorce decree is granted. This time is treated as a cooling-off period to ensure that two spouses do not end a marriage in the heat of the moment. There is a total of 30 days that must expire before a divorce decree is finalized.
In theory, this is the fastest a divorce case can take under Missouri law. However, most divorces take more time than this for a variety of reasons. For starters, working with the schedule of the court is likely to require more time than the bare minimum 30 days.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces
The most important issue in determining how long it will take to resolve your divorce case is whether it is contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties reach a conclusion on all of the important issues in the divorce case. A contested divorce means there are still issues to resolve—typically through litigation.
If your case is uncontested, you and your spouse might be able to conclude the case and secure the dissolution of your marriage in short order. If there is a dispute over important issues like child custody or property distribution, it is likely that your case will take longer.
Other Factors That Could Slow the Process in Missouri
Whether or not your divorce is contested or uncontested will play an important role in determining how long it takes to secure a divorce decree. However, it is not the only factor relevant to this discussion.
The failure to meet the other requirements of a divorce case could also slow things down. In addition to the waiting period written into the law, there are other requirements as well. These include residency requirements. In order for a divorce to be granted, you or your spouse must have lived in Missouri for 90 days prior to filing. There are exceptions if you are in the state on active military duty. If you have not complied with this requirement, it could take more time to finalize a divorce.
Another issue that could drag out your case is the possibility of appeal. Your spouse has the right to appeal the decision, which would normally be finalized 30 days after the judgment is entered. Instead, the decision would not become final pending an appeal.
One of the biggest factors that can slow down a divorce case is an intentional delay. If your spouse is not in a hurry to bring the case to an end, there are steps they can take to drag out the process. Thankfully, the right attorney could keep your case moving and avoid these intentional delays.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Divorce Case in Missouri
While there is a 30-day minimum that applies to divorce cases in Missouri, the chances are good your case could take longer than that. Depending on the circumstances, your divorce lasts for a matter of weeks or stretches across more than one year. Having the right attorney by your side could reduce the delays that are common in these cases.
The J. Rench Law Firm, LLC is ready to help you get to the next stage of your life. Reach out right away to learn how we could help.
Related Content: How Long Does It Take To Get a Divorce in St. Louis?