What is a divorce decree and what information is important to know?
For a couple seeking divorce in the State of Missouri, it is important for them to understand the procedures of filing a divorce, have an understanding of the correct legal terminology, and most importantly get a clear idea of how the court will bring the divorce case to term.
In this article, we will discuss what you should know about divorce decrees in Missouri.
What is a Divorce Decree?
Once a divorce case is filed with the Missouri court, and the proceedings pertaining to the factors affecting the divorce such as division of property, maintenance or alimony, child custody and support, etc. are decided upon, the court (judge) will issue a divorce decree.
A divorce decree is a written document of the court order that grants the dissolution of the marriage. This provision made by the Missouri divorce laws encompasses decrees issued by the court judge pertaining to the factors affecting the divorce as mentioned above.
Getting a Divorce Decree
Missouri is a no-fault divorce state. This means that neither of the spouses need to prove or allege a cause for divorce such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, etc. For filing a divorce, either of the spouses has to assert that the marriage is broken beyond reconciliation and therefore the marriage cannot be saved. Either party (husband or wife) can file a petition for dissolution of the marriage with the circuit court and request a decree of divorce. However, there are some prerequisites that the Missouri court requires for the divorce proceedings:
- Either one (husband or wife) should be a resident of Missouri for a minimum of 90 days preceding the day the divorce petition is filed.
- The court needs to be notified if the wife is pregnant, and if the divorce needs to be delayed until the delivery.
- All couples filing for divorce have a 30 day cooling off period between filing the petition and granting of the dissolution of marriage.
The Divorce Decree
The divorce decree of dissolution of marriage is termed as final on the day the judge signs the judgment of dissolution and it is filed with the court. The court includes all aspects that are concerned with divorce such as deciding on child custody and support, maintenance or alimony, division and disposition of property. The decree may issue a grant to the wife to retain her maiden name.
Both the spouses can thereafter live their lives as unmarried individuals, however, they are required to respect and comply with the terms of the divorce decree with respect to visitation rights, maintenance and division of property.
Modifying the Terms of the Judgment
Any substantial or a continuing change of circumstance since the granting of the divorce decree can permit a party to modify the terms of the judgment pertaining to any of the factors like child custody, support maintenance, etc. the situations that could qualify as substantial and continuing are:
- Economic slowdown or a loss of job
- The commencement of a child’s college
- Increase in a child’s living expense
- Serious illness or an increase in medical expense of either of the spouses or a child
It is however, not easy to move a court to modify its terms of judgment. The court will review the situation, and only then consider modifications. The process is often long drawn and significantly increases divorce attorney fees and costs.
Contact a St. Louis Divorce Lawyer
Our team of experienced divorce attorneys and aides assist our clients with these difficult decisions and help them choose the grounds that are most relevant to their case. In the midst of so much emotional upheaval, it can be difficult for the petitioner to face these types of choices. Our team of considerate attorneys will be there to help see you through these rough times.
Contact The Betz Law Firm today at (314) 801-8488 or by filling out our online contact form. As a firm, our goal is to help you find the answers to those questions and to begin the next phase of your life with as much ease as possible.