Free Consultation

St. Louis Legal Separation Lawyer

Many St. Louis couples choose legal separation as a step before divorce, exploring this option to address issues while considering their future. Learn about the benefits of legal separation.

The Betz Law Firm
Based on 31 reviews
review us on
Mr. Betz is a knowledgeable and helpful straight shooter who truly cares about kids! Highly recommend.
The Betz Law Firm assisted my son with legally changing his name. They were extremely easy to work and very helpful!!!
David Betz and Debbye Lasky were both wonderful to work with and accomplished what I needed done.
David was very professional and helpful for our child during a recent litigation. I would highly recommend his firm for GAL service or attorney service!
Fair Guardian Ad Litem who has walked a tightrope of a custody case
I was very impressed with Mr. Betz’s service. He was the GAL for my children. He was very professional, fair-but-caring and advocated tireless for the children’s best interests. He took his time to talk to them about their wishes, giving us sound advice and guided us through an otherwise contentious process. I appreciated his professionalism, ethics and would highly recommend him.
My son and I have worked with David Betz for several years in custody matters concerning my grandson. I have found him to be genuinely concerned with our situation and responsive to our needs. He listens carefully and handles matters promptly. He is realistic in evaluating situations and helps us to arrive at the best possible alternatives. I highly recommend him for family law matters.
I am a transfeminine nonbinary person that used The Betz Firm to get my name changed. They were extremely affirming, and excited to work with me through this as it was an immensely huge deal for me. Thank you Betz Firm, for making this a reality for me!
Joel and David are extremely helpful and helped with everything I needed. They are kind and worked with me with all of my needs regarding my case! I would recommend to everyone!
David was phenomenal in helping me secure protection and safety for myself and my daughter during the divorce and custody case. We ultimately prevailed at the end with 100% custody and a judgement in favor of the petitioner for support, with heavy stipulations in place for visitation. David by your side in the courtroom is a sure fire win. Place your bets on Betz!
David was super helpful in getting all of my questions answered. He was kind and patient while I explained the situation I was dealing with, and outlined numerous options and avenues that I had as choices. He didn't sugar coat things and was honest where he thought struggles would appear in the case, and talked through best and worst case scenarios. He also was nice enough to offer additional phone calls if more questions came up while choosing how to move forward with the case. I would highly recommend talking to David about your case if you need a family lawyer, as it's obvious that he is kind, and extremely knowledgeable about family law and the complications it can involve.
The Betz Firm has handled all of our family law needs. They are an impressive team to work with and they have the ability to find the best solution for their clients.
I have all the world to say about this man. He helped me piece my life back together.
David Betz took the time to answer all of my questions and was very kind, thoughtful, considerate, and most importantly of all knowledgeable. I very much appreciated his time and help!
The staff is very professional and friendly and comforting to their clients (the children). They definitely put us all at ease during an uncomfortable time.David himself is very easy to talk to, and both of my kids really liked him. I am very impressed with their involvement in our case. He has been easy to work with and good at getting back to us in a timely manner with issues regarding our case.I would highly recommend his office to anyone in need of legal help for their children.10 months later...I wanted to add, we have been in this case for 22 months and it’s about to wrap up. David has been amazing. My 16 year old daughter had kind of lost her faith in the system and in adults - David really worked with her and helped hold her accountable, but also gave her a voice, great advice, and really won her over. She really trusts him. When she was struggling, she would ask to call David. When I was struggling with her, I would threaten to call David and she would become more agreeable. She really trusts and respects him. Which for me, takes a unique skill set. Not everyone can get an unhappy teen to comply and also still keep their trust and respect. My son loved David too. Both kids looked forward to our apts with David. Which when you are fighting a child support/ custody case and your drained, it’s so nice to have parts of the process be so easy and helpful. And that’s what we got from David and his staff.David has offered to be available if he can help after the case with questions or getting a teenager in line. They were understanding and more than fair with my payment options. Joel, his assistant- is a joy to talk to and prompt to respond and he chatted with the kids and put them at ease in a very uncomfortable situation. I can’t say enough good things about them.We drive past their office every day on the way to school and my daughter said she wanted to stop by and take David a Christmas present. That’s pretty impressive for a 16 year old.They really made a very unbearable situation so much better; David even made us smile and laugh during a very nerve wracking time.I would highly recommend them to anyone. Definitely 5 plus stars!
David helped me successfully navigate through a challenging legal scenario, where timely direction and counsel were paramount to a positive outcome. He quickly understood the issues at hand, provided very practical advice, all the while demonstrating his firm understanding of the law. Just as importantly, his advice was grounded in how the practical application of that knowledge would lead to a positive outcome. He was easy to talk with, a focused listener, honest, and it was obvious that he was not out for his own gain. It was nothing short of a positive experience from start to finish!
I retained David Betz for my divorce and very happy with how things turned out. David and his team went straight to work and kept me updated every step of the way. If you looking for someone to get the job done, then look no further. Thank You David and Joel for all you have done for me!!
I felt comfortable with David and was always treated with respect and listened to.
Such a great experience working with David. He truly was looking after my child's best interest and that's what it's all about. But he also was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and explained everything so that even my 7 year old could understand. Well done.
David is a great person and lawyer. He was on top of the situation instantly also very professional. I would recommend him to anyone that wants not only a lawyer but a friend he listened to my concerns and took action thats what I like about him. Thanks David ! My life is forever changed !
David actually cared and unlike most attorneys, did not try to take as much as possible. I am satisfied and got everything I needed.
David Betz is professional and is very to the point! He knows the law and helps to get you a fair deal. He helped me get 50 percent custody of my kids and my home back from my ex. His staff are very knowledgeable and helpfully as well! I highly recommend him to anyone going though a custody battle!
I was in a very tough spot legally with a family situation. David was able to help me out and I got much more than I ever expected from the court. I give David the highest possible rating!!! He will do what is necessary to help you with your family law situation.
David Betz is very kind and will answer any questions you have regarding your case in a timely manner. I highly recommend him.
Really listened and provided solid advice and assistance. Always made himself available and never rushed our meetings. He really cared about our outcome, I felt like a friend rather than a client. A great attorney and true professional.

Most St. Louis couples find it difficult to decide to divorce. Tensions and emotions are high, and moving forward alone can overwhelm both partners. Our firm recognizes the turmoil in these couples and will often recommend that they try a legal separation before filing for a permanent dissolution of their marriage.

The final result is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce in St. Louis. While a couple could potentially remain married yet legally separated for years, the dissolution of marriage is a permanent termination of the marriage license.  Besides, all other factors normally found in a divorce petition, such as child custody, support issues, and property division, still exist. Our firm has years of experience helping couples considering a legal separation agree on how to proceed.

Why a Legal Separation Instead of Divorce?

We have dealt with numerous couples with varying reasons for wanting a legal separation over a divorce. Some hold onto the hope that the marriage will be salvageable later. For these couples, we take great care to ensure that the needs of both partners are considered to pave the way towards reconciliation in the future. For some, it is a solution to a seemingly temporary situation, such as substance abuse, where one partner feels it is in their best interest to separate themselves financially from their significant other until the problem is resolved.

Other cases we have helped with involve partners relying on each other’s health insurance policies. Since benefits for a spouse are terminated after a dissolution of marriage, a couple will sometimes cooperate and file for a legal separation, which often will not affect the spouse’s eligibility for medical care through their partner’s health insurance.

In a situation where one spouse is opposed to divorce based on religious or moral beliefs, they may file for a legal separation while their partner files for a divorce. In this instance, the judge presiding over your case will have to decide on which petition to grant based on the evidence presented to him.

Proving Incompatibility

If one partner is opposed to legal separation and would prefer a marriage dissolution, he or she may be required to show evidence that the union has been irretrievably broken. There are some circumstances that a spouse can present to convince a judge that there is no hope for reconciliation:

  • Suppose the party seeking a divorce over a legal separation can provide proof of infidelity in the marriage and show cause as to why this is intolerable to them. In that case, the legal separation petition will be discarded, and the divorce proceedings will be allowed to proceed.
  • When it can be proven that the partner petitioning for legal separation has acted in such a way that it is intolerable for the spouse to continue living with them.
  • If the spouse has abandoned his partner and family for 6 months or longer or continuously.
  • Both parties consented to the agreement and lived separately for at least a year before the petition was filed.
  • The couple lived separately for at least two years before the petition without the consent of one partner.

A spouse seeking a contested legal separation should note that after three months of being declared legally separated, their spouse can obtain a dissolution of marriage.

In these situations, our firm stresses the importance of both partners trying to work together towards an amicable solution through mediation, especially when minor children’s needs must be considered.

Legal Separation Issues

The same concerns surrounding a divorce petition exist with a legal separation. If there are minors involved, child custody and support agreements will have to be reached. It is not unusual for a St. Louis family law judge to order that counseling be obtained for the children or to insist that the parents attempt to work out their differences in mediation.

We understand that a legal separation is a devastating time for parents and children and assumes a personal role in all parties’ well-being. Through years of experience, we have found that the best resolutions to issues involving your children will be found by using mediation with your co-parent.

The issues that must be addressed in a divorce petition also apply to a legal separation. These can include:

  • Property Distribution: In St. Louis, if the couple cannot reach a mutual agreement about the division of joint property, the Missouri court will distribute it for them in an equitable, but not necessarily equal, manner. The family court judge will consider certain factors, such as each partner’s financial circumstances, each partner’s contribution to the acquisition of property, and the conduct of both parties.
  • Spousal Support: Legal separation allows for spousal support just as a divorce decree will. Our firm has helped countless spouses obtain additional financial support from their former partners even after a legal separation petition has been granted.

St. Louis Legal Separation Lawyer

Although deciding on a legal separation is never easy, many couples have already discussed this option together. It’s a challenging time for a family that has to make tough decisions while living apart. We understand the unique needs of you and your loved ones and will always do everything in our power to help ease this difficult time for your family. Get in touch with a St. Louis Legal Separation Lawyer at our Missouri Family Law Office to ensure your family’s needs are met.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Our firm uses experience, good communication, and availability to help families navigate life-changing events.