Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to finalize my divorce?
In Missouri, a judge must wait 30 days before entering a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage or a Judgment for Legal Separation. So at least 30 days must pass after the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or a Petition for Legal Separation before you can finalize your divorce. Other factors are involved as well, such as whether the Respondent has been served with a Summons or has filed an Entry of Appearance. Generally, when the Settlement Agreement and/or the Parenting Plan have already been signed at the time that the Petition is filed, the non-contested matter will be resolved fairly quickly.
Am I required to take a Parent Education Class?
Yes, if you are filing in the St. Louis, Missouri area and there are minor children of the marriage. There are local court requirements in St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County requiring parents to take a Parent Education Class. The location of these classes depends on the county in which you are filing. The class generally runs about 3 hours and there is a fee to attend. Ms. Homeyer will provide you with specific information about the Parenting Education requirement in your county. You must attend in person. There is no option to take the class online.
What is Form 14?
You may have heard that child support is calculated “on Form 14.” The Missouri Supreme Court has adopted a Child Support Amount Calculation Worksheet, commonly known as Form 14. This is a form in which numbers are inputted for various categories of income and expenses. The outcome is a number called the Presumed Child Support Amount. Couples who are making their own decisions (i.e., “settling”) are not bound by the Presumed Child Support Amount. They are free to agree on a child support number that is greater than or less than the Presumed Child Support Amount. They are even free to say that neither parent is going to pay child support to the other at this time. This is called “deviating from Form 14.” The number on Form 14 is one piece of information to be considered in deciding on what the right child support number is in your particular situation. A Form 14 does have to be submitted with your divorce paperwork, however. So even if you are deviating from Form 14, you must submit a Form 14 at the time the Judgment is signed. Ms. Homeyer will help you prepare Form 14.
Is there a similar form for calculating maintenance (spousal support)?
Not in Missouri. Missouri law does provide for the possibility of awarding maintenance to one of the spouses, based on one spouse’s financial need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. However, there is no form or formula to guide the courts as to whether maintenance should be paid and if so, in what amount. In a settlement-oriented divorce or legal separation, the couple would look at many factors to determine whether by agreement, one spouse will pay maintenance to the other spouse. Such factors may include the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, the financial resources of the other spouse, the relative income of both spouses compared to each other, the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage, how long the parties were married, the age of the spouse seeking maintenance, and the emotional and physical condition of the spouse seeking maintenance. There are more factors set out in the statute, including the catch-all “any other relevant factors.” See Section 452.335, Revised Statutes of Missouri.

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