Ending a marriage is often upsetting and complicated, regardless of the circumstances. Even if you and your spouse communicate well and anticipate an uncontested divorce, unexpected issues might arise.

However, if you and your spouse disagree, a divorce may become an emotional ordeal. Thankfully, a skilled family attorney could fight for you. If you are separating from your partner, a Park Hills divorce lawyer could help ensure an amicable agreement.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

If a couple does not contest a divorce, the spouses may handle most of the details amongst themselves before filing a petition to dissolve their marriage. A couple must divide their marital assets and establish whether one spouse will pay support to the other. If the couple has children, they must make provisions for child support and develop a parenting plan. A parenting plan should provide details about where the children will live, when the other parent can see them, and who will decide their religious upbringing, education, and health care.

Once spouses agree upon these details, they must put their agreement in writing for submission to a court. A divorce attorney in Park Hills could ensure that the parties’ agreement includes necessary details and meets all legal requirements.

What is a Contested Divorce?

If a couple has property or children, a contested divorce becomes more likely. Child support and custody issues can be difficult for parents to address without professional help. Likewise, determining who will take ownership of a joint property can be challenging.

According to Missouri Revised Statutes §452.330, spouses should divide any marital property fairly, but not necessarily equally. Each party should consider the circumstances of the divorce when determining ownership of their possessions. The circumstances a judge will consider when dividing marital property include the:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Spouses’ relative ages and health
  • Responsibility for minor children
  • Spouses’ contributions to the marriage
  • Each spouse’s post-divorce earning capacity
  • Value of the non-marital property each spouse possesses

Even if a divorce is contested, the spouses can still settle issues outside of court. If two parties communicate well, mediation can often help partners resolve contentious issues. In other cases, a person could have a separation lawyer in Park Hills communicate with their spouse’s attorney to negotiate an agreement. However, if no agreements can be made, a judge will usually decide issues still in dispute.

Divorces Involving Children

Missouri law assumes that children benefit from having continuous, meaningful contact with both their parents after a divorce. Courts will usually grant spouses joint custody, meaning that, although the adolescent’s primary residence might be with one parent, the other parent can still spend time with their child. Although parenting time does not need to be split evenly, a non-custodial parent should have a child as close to half the time as possible. Parents should also share legal decision-making authority.

Joint physical and legal custody is not possible in some cases, but courts will try to accomplish an ideal outcome. If one parent wishes to restrict a co-parent’s physical access to a child or limit this part’s decision-making authority, the parent seeking the restriction must present evidence supporting their position.

Child support can sometimes be a contentious issue. Under the law, parents have an obligation to support their children, even if a custodial parent has the resources to provide for a child without the other parent’s help. When calculating child support, courts typically consider the parents’ income, the child’s health and educational needs, and each parent’s childcare expenses. A skilled attorney in Park Hills could help divorced parents draft an appropriate agreement for the wellbeing of their children.

Depend on a Park Hills Divorce Attorney

Divorces are often emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. However, a skilled advocate could provide advice and guide you through the separation process.

If you are ending your marriage, speak with a Park Hills divorce lawyer as early in the process as possible. An attorney could help you and your spouse resolve outstanding issues quickly and fairly.

Experienced Litigators, Ready To Fight For You