West St. Louis County, Missouri Divorce Lawyers Serving Residents in Ellisville, MO
Going through a divorce may be one of the most difficult experiences you will ever have to face. The results that come out of these proceedings will impact you and your family for years into the future. Be sure that you have a caring legal team behind you that knows the law and will fight for the most favorable results available in your case.
As listed in their biographies, many of our attorneys have received awards and accolades for divorce and family law. For example, Founding Partner Kirk Stange has been named a Super Lawyers Honoree since 2015 and has also been named to The POWER List by Missouri Lawyers Media since 2020.
At Stange Law Firm, PC, our St. Louis divorce lawyers have the skill, dedication, and skill to properly handle your case. We understand how overwhelming it can be to face unfamiliar legal issues with so much at stake. From our office located in Ellisville, MO, you can count on us to be there with you at every step, constantly working to put you in the best possible situation as you move into this new phase of your life.
To learn more about the St. Louis County Family Court, please visit the following links:
- St. Louis County Family Law Forms: View a list of St. Louis County family law forms here.
- St. Louis County Courthouse: View information about the St. Louis County courthouse.
- St. Louis County Local Court Rules: Find the list of rules for the St. Louis County courthouse here.
Our West St. Louis County, Missouri Divorce Attorneys Are Ready To Boldly Represent Your Interests in Ellisville, MO
Our attorneys are compassionate family law attorneys, and our opponents know that we prepare every case as if it is going to trial. While we always work to reach a fair settlement without the need for a long and costly legal battle, we are ready to take bold action to ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law.
We can help with a wide range of divorce and family law matters, including:
- High net worth divorce in West St. Louis County, MO: Our attorneys at Stange Law Firm, PC are fully capable and ready to help you with a high net worth divorce matter in West St. Louis County, Missouri. Reach out to us today, or click here for more information.
- Annulment in West Saint Louis County, MO: We offer you diligent family law attorneys who can handle family matters of all kinds, annulments being one of them. Find more information here.
- West St. Louis County, MO Uncontested divorce: We are here to help you with your uncontested divorce matter whenever you need us. Click the link provided to learn more.
- West Saint Louis, MO Contested divorce: Our attorneys can help you with your contested divorce matter, find out how here.
- West St. Louis County, MO divorce lawyers: Find divorce attorneys in West St. Louis County, MO who can assist you in Ellisville, Missouri here.
- West St. Louis County MO child custody and visitation attorneys in Clayton: Our attorneys at Stange Law Firm are here to help you with any child custody and visitation matters you may have. Find out more here.
- West Saint Louis County MO child support lawyers: Our West Saint Louis County, Missouri family law attorneys are able and ready to assist you with your child support matter needs.
- Spousal maintenance and alimony in Ellisville, MO: Are you looking for more information about spousal maintenance/support? Allow our attorneys to answer your questions. Click here for more information.
- Division of property and debts in West Saint Louis County, MO in Clayton: We can help with your division of marital property and debt issues while you’re going through your divorce.
- Post-divorce modifications in Ellisville, MO: Are you in need of a modification after your divorce? Our attorneys can assist residents in Ellisville, Missouri.
- St. Louis County, MO dissolution of same-sex marriages in Ellisville: We represent clients in the dissolution of same-sex marriage in Ellisville, MO. Find more information here.
- West St. Louis County, MO collaborative divorce and mediation lawyers: We represent clients who are looking to resolve their cases amicably outside of court.
From our webpage, you can also read articles about family law, view informational videos, and seminar videos, listen to our podcast, download our mobile application, or view support calculators for Missouri. You can also get more information at our St. Louis Divorce Law Blog.
COMMON DIVORCE QUESTIONS IN MISSOURI
Grounds for Divorce in West St. Louis County
Parties in Missouri can get divorced when there are irreconcilable differences and there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. It is not necessary to show fault in Missouri to get divorced, but fault can impact property and debt division and spousal maintenance.
Residency Requirements in Ellisville, Missouri
If you are going to get divorced in the State of Missouri, either you or your wife (or both of you) must be a resident in the State of Missouri and must have lived in the state for at least 90 days, before the filing of the Petition. This action should be filed in the county where the petitioner resides. Whoever is filing for divorce should generally do so in the county in which they live. In some cases, a motion for a change of venue is a possibility.
Name of the Court and Title of the Action/Parties in West St. Louis County
Here are a few key names for you to make note of. First is the Circuit Court, where the divorce petition is filed. The first action is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The final action is called the Decree or Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Depending on which party is filing the divorce, you are either called the Petitioner (the party filing for divorce) or the Respondent (the one who gets served).
Legal Separation in Ellisville, Missouri
Deciding to file for a divorce is difficult for many parties. For those individuals who may not yet be ready to take that big next step, there is another option for you. Missouri divorce laws state that parties may file for a legal separation when there is a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. Many of the guidelines remain the same, regarding things like spousal maintenance, division of property, child support, etc. One or both of the parties must have resided within the State of Missouri for at least 90 days before filing this petition. You must consider all options and factors before making any legally binding decisions when it comes to legal separation and dissolution because a legal separation can be converted into a divorce.
Spousal Maintenance in West St. Louis County
According to Missouri divorce laws, the court may grant spousal maintenance to either party. This depends on a finding that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is not able to support themselves and lacks sufficient property to provide for their own needs; or that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is the guardian of a child whose condition is such that it would be inappropriate for that party to seek outside employment.
The court will take in and consider the following factors in ruling on the amount of spousal maintenance to be compensated:
- The time necessary for the spouse seeking support to acquire sufficient education or training
- The comparative earning capacity of each spouse
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The obligations and assets of the marriage, both separate and marital
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical and mental condition of the spouse seeking support
- The ability of the supporting spouse to meet both his needs and the needs of the spouse seeking support
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage
- Any other relevant factors
The order establishing spousal maintenance must also state whether the award is modifiable or non-modifiable. If the award is modifiable, the court may modify the award only upon a showing that the circumstances have changed so considerably as to make the terms unreasonable.
Distribution of Property in Ellisville, Missouri
Missouri divorce laws call for an equitable distribution of assets. This means that the court will divide the marital property between the parties as it deems equitable and fair, after setting aside each party’s separate property. This essentially means that you get to keep what belongs to you (property you owned before the marriage) and all shared property (property you owned during the marriage) will be divided equally between you and your ex-spouse. The court will consider the following factors in dividing the property between the parties:
- The economic circumstances of the parties at the time of the division of property
- The contribution of each spouse to the marital estate
- The value of the non-marital property set apart for each spouse
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage
- Custodial arrangements for minor children
Child Custody in West St. Louis County
Missouri courts will determine the issue of child custody based on the best interests of the child. A partial list of aspects that the court will consider in determining the best interests of the child include:
- The wishes of the parents, the need of the child for a frequent and meaningful relationship with both parents
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with both the parents and any siblings
- The wishes of the child
Before awarding custody, the court shall first consider awarding joint physical and legal custody to both parents. Suppose the court decides that joint physical and legal custody awarded to both parents is not in the best interests of the child. In that case, the court shall next consider joint physical custody, with one party being awarded sole legal custody. If that arrangement is also found to not be in the best interests of the child, the court shall next consider joint legal custody with one party granted sole physical custody. If that arrangement is not in the best interests of the child, the court would next consider sole custody to either parent or a third-party custody arrangement.
There will be no preference given to either party based upon the parent’s age, sex, or financial status, nor because of the age or sex of the child, in determining custody.
When custody of a child is at issue in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage the court shall order the parents to attend educational classes regarding the effects of custody and dissolution of marriage upon the children. The court may also order the parents to attend an alternative dispute resolution program to resolve any disputes regarding issues of custody or visitation.
Child Support in Ellisville, Missouri
As with every other family law issue, the court will determine the matter of child support. The court may order either or both parties to pay an equitable amount necessary to support their child or children. According to Supreme Court Rule 88.01 and Form 14, some of the factors the court will take into consideration while determining the amount of child support include:
- The financial needs and resources of the child
- The financial resources and needs of the parents
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not terminated
- The child’s physical and legal custody arrangements
Legally, your liability to pay child support shall end upon the death of the child, the marriage of the child, the child entering active duty in the military, the child becoming self-sufficient, the child reaching eighteen (18) years of age, or, if the child is enrolled in a secondary school program of education when the child reaches the age of twenty-one (21) years of age.
You may also be required to provide health insurance for your child. In addition, if you were already paying for health insurance for your children and spouse before the divorce, you are obligated to continue paying for it from the time of filing until the divorce is final (meaning you cannot cancel health insurance for your children and spouse during the divorce proceedings).
Name Change in West St. Louis County
A spouse may request a name change back to their former or maiden name. This request may be granted by the court upon the divorce.
Contact Our Divorce Attorneys at Stange Law Firm, PC in Ellisville, MO in St. Louis County
Are you looking to hire a diligent family law attorney to help you with your divorce or separation matter? If so contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation.
Ellisville, MO (St. Louis County) Office Location: 855-805-0595:16024 Manchester Road, Suite 227, Ellisville, MO 63011 (by appointment only).