Filing for divorce can flip your world upside down. Suddenly, shared custody agreements require parents to spend nights without their children. Decisions must be made about how to divide property. Seemingly overnight, your entire financial situation could shift dramatically. It’s a process that is filled with high emotion, anxiety, and overwhelming change. Knowledge and preparation can help alleviate these emotions; below are some of the most-asked questions surrounding divorce:
What is the difference between divorce and annulment?
The key difference between a divorce and an annulment is that an annulment treats a marriage as if it never existed, while a divorce legally ends a marriage. When moving for an annulment, the couple must prove that the marriage was not legal to begin with. Examples include the concealment of major details such as criminal history, if one or both parties were incapacitated due to drugs, alcohol, or mental disability, or if one or both parties were already married.
How much does it cost to file for a divorce?
When filing for divorce, there are various fees you’ll need to pay, including filing fees and attorney fees. Your attorney fees will vary depending on who you hire, and your filing fees will depend on where you live, with the average cost ranging from $100 to $350 throughout the U.S. You can check your Circuit Court’s website or reach out to your Circuit Clerk for help in determining your county’s filing fees.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
The time it takes to get a divorce depends on where you live, as well as if your divorce is uncontested or not. If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, filing a Joint Stipulation with the terms of your agreement is the quickest way to legally dissolve your marriage. There is a 30-day waiting period after your divorce petition is filed before it can be granted by the court. However, if you cannot agree on the terms of the petition, the process will take more time.
What is the procedure for getting a divorce?
While the divorce process is unique for everybody, there are some steps that anyone seeking a divorce must take. In the beginning stage, the spouse who begins the divorce process will need to file a petition outlining how they feel property should be divided, whether their spouse should pay or receive maintenance, and the preferred custodial arrangement for any children. From there, the divorce process can vary widely, with the potential of mediation, settlement, and/or a court hearing before the divorce is final. We’ve prepared a detailed roadmap to divorce available on our website to help you understand what the path forward could look like for you.
Who gets custody during divorce proceedings? How is custody and child support determined?
During divorce proceedings, temporary support orders (commonly known as Pendente Lite Relief) can be set by a judge to establish temporary financial and parental rights. Pendente Lite Relief is much quicker than a final trial and can prevent a spouse from closing a joint back account, refusing child support, or refusing parenting time to their co-parent. The purpose of these temporary orders is to keep things fair throughout the process and to protect both parties, as well as any children that are involved.
Ultimately, a judge must decide what is in a child’s best interest when determining custody and child support. Factors a judge will consider include the wishes of each parent, the mental and physical health of all parties involved, intention to relocate, important relationships in the child’s life (siblings, half siblings, grandparents, etc.), and the child’s wishes. Once custody is determined, the court utilizes a Form 14 (in Missouri) to calculate child support amounts.
At Aramjoo Law Firm, we understand that the decision to divorce your spouse is a difficult one that impacts many aspects of your life. Every couple (and divorce) is unique, which is why we guide our clients through the process with their best interests and more importantly, their wishes, top of mind. If you or someone you know is considering divorce in the Liberty or Kansas City, MO area, our Liberty family lawyer in Aramjoo Law Firm is always here to help at (816) 479-5898.