Uncontested Divorce in Missouri

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Today divorce has become a popular option for a struggling married relationship. Earlier spouses used to put aside their ego and resolve issues however grave those may be. But now considerable changes in lifestyle have made couples restless and not many of them are willing to give a second chance to the failing relationship. As a result a divorce seems to be an easy option which will liberate them from an unwanted bond. Some couples who wish to get separated, do not desire to place their future in the hands of the court. For such couples, the option of uncontested process is open. By this method, the couple can decide how to shape their future by reaching a mutual agreement regarding the various issues of the divorce. Uncontested divorces are quite popular in Missouri in the US. There are a number of methods of obtaining an uncontested divorce in Missouri depending on the nature of every case.

Missouri is a no-fault divorce state. The Petitioner files for the action in the Circuit Court of the county where he/ she resides. When both the Petitioner and the Defendant files for a case jointly, they are known as Co-Petitioners.

It has been mentioned that there are a number of uncontested divorce procedures owing to the varying nature of cases in every state in the US. It is not possible to include all the detailed information here. But we have gathered some relevant and truthful information that will help you to prepare for your case to a great extent.

Residency Requirements and Waiting Period

Any spouse willing for an uncontested case in this state must be a resident of the state for three months or 90 days before filing for the action.

A couple has to wait for a period of thirty days before the Court grants the divorce.

Forms associated with Uncontested Divorce in Missouri

The Petitioner is supposed to file the below mentioned forms:

  • PSC501 (A Parenting Plan): The terms and conditions of child support, visitation and child custody are outlined in this document.
  • PSC070 (Judgment of Dissolution): The Court signs this form. It indicates the termination of marriage.
  • PSC067 (Family Court Filing Certificate): Any actions, concerning the separating parties, that are pending are listed in this form.
  • PSC065 (Missouri Department of Health Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage): For purposes of record keeping, it is essential to record the divorce. This form serves this intention.
  • PSC040 (A Statement of Property and Debt and the Proposed Separation Agreement): This form includes the liabilities and assets of the divorcing partners. It also comprises of the distribution and division of property that is sought by the Petitioner.
  • PSC050 (A Statement of Income and Expense): The expenditure and income of both divorcing partners is mentioned in this form.
  • PSC001 (A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage): The purpose of this form is to indicate the irretrievable breakage of the marriage and there is no reasonable possibility that it can be preserved. The form consists of some important information that are mentioned here:
    • The day when the marriage happened and the place of the same.
    • The date when the divorcing partners got separated
    • The place where the partners reside and their job/occupation
    • If there are any minor children, then the place where these children live
    • The proposed plan of custody
  • PSC010 (An Answer to the Petition of Dissolution): If the Respondent accedes with the complaint, they answer the petition. However, it is the Petitioner who files this form.

Modes of Service in Uncontested Divorce in Missouri

The Respondent is given service of the process in one of the following four ways:

  • Personal Service: The Sheriff of the county or any other court officer delivers the petition to the Respondent by hand.
  • Waiver of Personal Service: The Respondent is delivered the Petition by the Petitioner. "Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service" is a notarized form. It is signed and verified by the Respondent and returned to the Petitioner. Later it is also filed.
  • Private or Special Process Server: If the Respondent is avoiding being served or is difficult to find, then this method is useful.
  • Service by Publication: If the above-mentioned three methods of serving the petition fails, then the Petitioner requests the Court to permit to publish a notice regarding the dissolution in the newspaper. Starting from the date of the last publication, there are 45 days within which the Respondent should file an Answer.

If all the above-mentioned four methods have been tried and still the Respondent does not file an Answer, the Petitioner is free to choose the path of a default judgment.

When you are preparing for an uncontested divorce in Missouri, you must think of your future and then make important decisions. Don't try to complicate matters unnecessarily. You should bear in mind that you have to lead a better life post the separation. Your present is going to affect your future to a greater extent. So it is imperative to follow the procedures and minimize conflicts as far as possible.

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