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Online Divorce in St Louis County
Please note: Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in St Louis County, Missouri, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
The fastest and easiest way to get a divorce in St Louis County, Missouri, is refusing to contest the case. When the spouses are ready to cooperate and reach an agreement on support, property, debt, child custody, and other significant matters, they can avoid traditional divorce trials and terminate the marriage with less stress and expenses. Often, they can even go through the process without a lawyer. When it comes to out-of-court negotiations or preparing divorce documents, there are many efficient and cheap options, including counseling, mediation, and online divorce.
OnlineDivorce.com has already helped thousands of couples in Missouri to complete and file divorce documents with the court quickly and easily. As an online document preparation service, OnlineDivorce.com provides a comfortable, secure, and inexpensive solution to receive the ready-to-file paperwork by email without leaving home.
This service selects and completes the legal forms, customizing them for a particular dissolution case, based upon the data provided by the customer during an online interview. Online Divorce guarantees that all of the customer's personal data and financial information will remain confidential, and that the papers will be approved by the St Louis County court with any problems. OnlineDivorce.com takes into account the requirements of Missouri Revised Statutes, as well as unique local rules of each county, and monitors any changes and amendments to the law to provide only relevant and correct legal forms.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in St Louis County
If a couple wants to get a divorce in St Louis County, they must provide a reason. It is possible to dissolve the marriage using any of the grounds for divorce stated in Missouri Family Law. Since Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, the spouses can obtain a divorce in St Louis County if they have "irreconcilable differences" that do not allow them to live together. This ground is considered to be no-fault because the court does not consider either of the spouses to be to blame for breaking up the marriage.
Although, indicating any fault-based ground is not required by the law, if the respondent does not agree with the no-fault ground or does not want to file for divorce, St Louis County courts shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken. According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.320, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition, and the petitioner shall prove to the court one of the following facts:
The defendant committed adultery;
The defendant does not intend to reside with the plaintiff;
The defendant and the plaintiff by mutual agreement did not live together and did not cohabit for at least 12 months before filing a lawsuit;
The defendant left the plaintiff for at least six months and did not make contact during this period;
The defendant and the plaintiff lived separately and without cohabitation (without mutual consent) for at least 24 months before filing a lawsuit with a court.
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In a divorce in St Louis County with children involved, the parents filing for divorce should reach an agreement on the child-related matters on their own. The court typically approves this arrangement if it is fair and reasonable. Otherwise, the court shall award child custody to either parent or both of them at its discretion and based on provisions provided by Missouri Revised Statutes.
Missouri courts always consider the best interests of the child when deciding on custody. It is presumed that both parents should take an active part in the process of raising a child unless it can harm the safety of the child. This suggests that, in most cases, the court is inclined to rule in favor of joint custody. Besides, according to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.375, in a divorce with a child involved, the following factors play a crucial role in the decision-making process regarding custody:
the need of a child for private contact with both parents;
the wishes of the spouses regarding custody;
ability and the desires of the spouses to resolve controversial issues regarding the child peacefully;
mental and physical health of parents and children;
relationships that have developed between a child and each parent, as well as siblings;
habitual residence of the child;
the wishes of the child regarding custody;
and any other factors that the court may consider relevant. Parents have to provide a Parenting Plan within 30 days after serving divorce papers in St Louis County. The plan should include a description of how the former spouses are going to interact when raising the child after the dissolution. Typically, this agreement contains many provisions, such as, how parents are going to share time spent with the child, how parents will resolve controversial issues in the process of education, how parents are going to divide child's expenses, and more.
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Rules for child support in St Louis County
Even after a separation, parents are responsible for their minor child, and this also applies to the financial support of the child. Financial support can be provided by either or both parents following the divorce.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.340, in a divorce St Louis County, the court shall order to pay a reasonable or necessary amount of child support, without regard to marital misconduct, but after considering all significant factors including:
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 if the marriage not been dissolved;
the physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs;
the child's physical and legal custody arrangements, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
To determine the exact amount of child support, the Missouri courts use the Income Shares Model. This model includes various tables for calculating the amount based on the number of minor children and the total gross income of the parents.
Rules for spousal support in St Louis County
In a divorce proceeding in St Louis County, either spouse may request alimony (spousal support). Although circumstances leading to the intention to receive maintenance may be different, they all assume that the party seeking alimony is financially dependent after the dissolution of marriage.
he or she lacks sufficient property (including his or her share of any marital property) to provide for his or her needs;
the party is the primary custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse to stay at home.
If awarding alimony is considered reasonable, the court may order maintenance for various periods after considering all the relevant factors:
the length of the marriage (for instance, spousal maintenance may not exceed five years in case of divorce after 7-10 years of marriage; seven years for a marriage of 10-17 years, and 10 years for a marriage longer than 17 years);
the financial resources of each party;
time and money needed for a requesting spouse to become financially independent;
the standard of living during the marriage;
age, the physical and mental performance of each party;
the property that each spouse received after the division, as well as separate property;
and other factors that the court may deem equitable.
Depending on the situation, the court determines the length of alimony. This can be either monthly maintenance stretched out over a specified period of time or a one-time payment. But it should be emphasized that regardless of the court's withdrawal, alimony ceases as soon as the spouse receiving the payments remarries.
Uncontested St Louis County divorce with children
Save more time for your children - complete your divorce papers online
How the property is divided in a divorce in St Louis County may be determined by the parties themselves in their Settlement Agreement, and the Circuit Court typically accepts it. However, if the spouses cannot agree, the judge will divide the assets within the Judgment of Divorce.
Even though Missouri is an equitable distribution state, this does not mean that all property will be divided evenly. It is also worth noting that not all property is subject to division.
There are three main stages into which the process of separation is divided:
1. The court singles out what is common property (meaning everything acquired during the marriage), and what is separate (property that was acquired before the marriage or in the marriage but through gift or inheritance). This is done because, according to the law, only the marital property can be divided. Similarly, the court proceeds with debts. 2. After all common property is revealed, the court assigns it a monetary equivalent. 3. Finally, the court proceeds to the analysis of various factors that have developed during the marriage period. As provided in Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.330, these factors are the following:
the efforts that each spouse has invested in the acquisition of every property, including the efforts of the spouses as homemakers to maintain the property;
the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of the entry into force of the decision regarding separation;
the conduct of each spouse during the marriage;
the place of residence of a minor child and custody arrangement;
the contribution that each spouse has made to increase the value of the marital property.
Mediation support in St Louis County
When spouses apply for divorce in St Louis County, Missouri, they may resort to mediation. Mediation is a non-competitive process, in which a neutral third party helps the couple reach a compromise and write up a Settlement Agreement.
In St Louis County, mediation is typically a voluntary process. Yet, if the spouses have minor children, the court rules require a minimum of two hours of mediation for disputed matters concerning child custody, visitation, and support.
Besides, all the divorcing spouses who have children 17 years and younger have to attend parenting classes.
How to file for divorce in St Louis County | Step-by-Step
To be eligible for getting a divorce in St Louis County, the spouses have to meet the Missouri residency requirements. According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.300, either party must have been a resident of the state for at least ninety days before filing a petition with a court. Having met the state residency requirement, the petitioner can file the petition with the St Louis County court, if either spouse currently resides within the county.
To start a divorce process in St Louis County, Missouri, the plaintiff has to fill out and file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage along with the other required divorce forms with the Circuit Court. If both parties agree about the terms of the dissolution from the beginning, they can file a petition jointly. It usually takes less time to get a divorce in St Louis County if the spouses are co-petitioners. The needed templates may be found in the self-help section of the Missouri Courts website. And those spouses who want to go through the filing process fast and effortlessly can trust all the paperwork matters to OnlineDivorce.com.
When the documents are filed, a court filing fee is charged and the divorce procedure in St Louis County officially starts. The next step, if the petition was filed by a sole applicant, the plaintiff has to decide how to serve the other spouse with copies of the papers In St Louis County, Missouri, the procedure of serving divorce papers can be accomplished by one of the following methods:
- county sheriff's service (the sheriff will charge an additional fee);
- private process server (an extra price is also assumed);
- if the other party cannot be located, the court shall permit the plaintiff to publish a notice of the case in a local newspaper and further qualify for a default divorce. Once the defendant is served, he or she has to complete and file the response (Answer to the Petition of Dissolution form), as acknowledging receipt of the petition. Missouri law gives the defendant 30 days to respond. The spouses who are co-petitioners waive their right to service of process.
Any divorce case (whether it is a single or joint-petition divorce) cannot be finalized earlier than 30 days after the filing in St Louis County. The state of Missouri requires a mandatory 30-days waiting period for all couples seeking a dissolution of marriage.
After the waiting period, the court appoints a court hearing. Uncontested hearings are typically brief - the petitioner or co-petitioners just give some testimony. If the Settlement Agreement and other documents are in order, the judge signs the Judgment of Dissolution.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney
fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels
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Detailed state-specific filing instructions
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Filing fees for divorce in St Louis County
How much a divorce will cost in St Louis County depends on many conditions. In particular, the cost of dissolution is much higher if the case is contested, while a DIY divorce without a lawyer is the most affordable option. However, no matter what type of dissolution the spouses choose, they have to pay the court filing fee to proceed. The average cost of filing fees in Missouri is $163.
How long will it take?
How long it takes to finalize a divorce in St Louis County depends on whether the spouses are co-petitioners or not, as well as whether they are going to contest the case. An average uncontested divorce in St Louis County takes a little over 30 days to be final since the state of Missouri requires a waiting period before the court can schedule the final hearing.
Filing for divorce in St Louis County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in St Louis County? The cost of dissolution in St Louis County starts with a court filing fee, but further expenses are hard to predict. Many alternative options are available - from DIY-divorce to traditional litigation, so the costs vary greatly. The cheapest option is a DIY process, and even if the spouses resort to additional services, like counseling, mediation, or online document preparation, it is still much cheaper than hiring an attorney.
How do you file for divorce in St Louis County without a lawyer? In St Louis County, the spouses are eligible to file for dissolution of marriage without any legal representatives. If the case is uncontested and the spouses reach an agreement on the essential terms of their separation, they may complete the forms without any assistance or by using OnlineDivorce.com, following their provided step-by-step guidance through the process.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in St Louis County? Some of the most common legal forms required to getting a divorce in Missouri include:
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Statement of Income and Expense
Statement of Property and Debt and the Proposed Separation Agreement
Missouri Department of Health Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage
Family Court Filing Certificate
Judgment of Dissolution
Answer to the Petition of Dissolution
Can I file for legal separation in St Louis County, Missouri? Missouri Revised Statutes recognizes a procedure for legal separation as an alternative to the dissolution of marriage. In the state of Missouri, legal separation is called separate maintenance. Signing a Separation Agreement, the spouses can resolve property, debt, and child-related matters, but remain married in the eyes of the law.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Missouri Family Law does not require any restrictions or waiting period for remarriage after a dissolution is final. However, it is worth knowing that some of the dissolution arrangements might be reexamined if either party enters a new marriage too quickly.
Divorce in St Louis County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
Divorce Courts in St Louis County, Missouri
21st Judicial Circuit Court
7900 Carondelet, Clayton, Missouri 63105
22nd Judicial Circuit Court
Thomas L. Kloeppinger
10 N Tucker Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri 63101
Family Court of St. Louis County
105 South Central Avenue (Courts Building), Clayton, Missouri 63105
Sample Documents by State
Please note that your final forms, documents and
filings may be different depending on your state.
Coming soon! If you want to have a look at sample forms for your state and
you cannot find them here, please just give us a call or send us an email.
At OnlineDivorce, we care about our customers and stand by the quality of our services - so we’ll
refund our fees within the first 30 days of purchase if you're unhappy with our services.
Call or email us and we'll process your refund.
What it doesn't cover:
We provide significant services beyond the generation of your forms. Answers to common questions,
filing instructions, and customer care provided during the process of using our site are just
some of the valuable services we provide.
For this reason, we unfortunately cannot grant a
refund in cases where a customer has accessed our post-purchase services, including our
post-purchase questionnaires, forms, instructions, and customer care center, unless there’s a
flaw in our underlying documents. If you have not accessed our post-purchase services, however,
you can request a refund within 30 days of purchase.
In addition, we cannot guarantee that a
customer's spouse will sign the documents and cannot provide a refund where the spouse refuses.
We cannot provide refunds for fees we collect on behalf of others that we cannot get back.
For example, if you purchase the electronic filing of your documents, complete the documents,
and we pay to file with a court, the court will not refund those fees to us and we cannot refund
them to you. Similarly, if you purchase a package with prepaid shipping labels, we cannot obtain a
refund for those labels. Finally, fees paid directly to lawyers or for mediation services are not
covered by this guarantee.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing times - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
based in other countries? No wonder some clients are provided with outdated divorce forms that will
be rejected by the court. The result? Those people lose their time and money because these
unprofessional services do not keep their state forms up-to-date.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service, some sites post reviews by non-existent "customers".
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