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Missouri divorce: What to expect

Missouri residents who have opted to end their marriages are likely to have a number of questions about what to expect during the dissolution process. It is understandable, as there can be a lot to it. Knowledge is power and knowing what to expect can make getting through the divorce process a little easier.

So, how can one get started? The divorce process generally starts with one spouse filing a petition in court with the assistance of legal counsel. The complaint is then served on the other party, who then has a set time frame to respond to the petition. After, submitting his or her response, the divorce can be finalized through settlement, mediation -- other alternative dispute resolution methods -- or trial.

Some couples are able to agree on property division, custody and support issues with little effort. Others require time and assistance to work things out. An then there are those who end up requiring a judge to have the final say. Every case is different. Every couple's needs are unique.

In Missouri, the divorce process can be completed in a relatively short time frame of just a few months or it can take years. It all depends on the complexity of the issues that need to be resolved. Whether one's divorce seems to be an open and shut case or it is one that could take awhile to reach agreeable terms, with the assistance of legal counsel it is possible for one to walk away from the marriage feeling satisfied with final terms of the dissolution agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "A Divorce Timeline", Sept. 4, 2017

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