Divorce: What are the Options in Missouri?
Even if you have already separated from your spouse, the decision to divorce can be an agonizing one. Once the decision has been made, many couples are not aware that there are different divorce options available. There are methods you can use to end your marriage that may save you time, money, and stress. Discussing your options with a qualified family law attorney can help determine which method is best for you.
Divorce options available for couples seeking a divorce or dissolution of their marriage:
- Uncontested divorce – In an uncontested divorce, both spouses are able to come to an agreement on issues such as child custody and division of property without going to court. Uncontested divorces tend to proceed more quickly and be less expensive than contested divorces. This is the most common type of divorce.
- Contested divorce – A contested divorce is one where the couple cannot agree about the terms of their divorce so they must take these issues to the court to be decided. Contested divorces may result in a longer divorce process and increased legal fees.
- Collaborative divorce – This is a newer method designed to reduce the costs and emotional wear of a divorce. A qualified divorce attorney represents each spouse, but both the attorneys and the parties agree up front that they will find a way to settle the case and not go to trial. The couple and their attorneys meet together and negotiate to resolve all dissolution issues without resorting to litigation.
- Mediation – Divorce mediation is a cost effective alternative to court litigation to help a couple reach a mutually agreeable settlement. A mediator acts as an impartial third party to help the couple work through the issues of their divorce. Legal counsel is still required with mediation. Each spouse should hire a divorce attorney for advice regarding the divorce negotiations and to review any proposed settlement agreement before it is signed. There are other types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to consider, however, mediation is the most common type of ADR used in divorce cases.
Deciding which divorce method is best for your situation can be complicated. In some situations, one or more of these options would not be preferable, including situations where large estates or domestic violence are involved.
If you are considering a divorce, attorney Tonya D. Page can help review all of your options with you, as well as advise you of your rights. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation. Divorce is never easy, but having a skilled divorce attorney on your side can have a positive impact on the length, cost, and outcome of your divorce.
Tonya Page will be happy to discuss your Missouri family law case with you and answer any questions you may have. She may be reached at (314) 322-8515 or via our contact form.