We charge for uncontested divorces, as follows: No children, property, or debt: $400 Property or debt, but no children: $550 Children, but no property or debt: $600.00 Children and property or debt: $650.00 Plus circuit court filing fee
For a free quote, please contact us by telephone or email and provide us with the following information: (1) Your name and telephone number, the date of marriage; (2) the county where you live and your spouse lives; (3) Whether you or your spouse own real estate, motor vehicles, or bank or retirement accounts; and (4) the number and birthdates of any children born of both you and your spouse. We will contact you within 24 hours with a quote. Please let us know whether we should contact you by email or telephone.
Divorce is very stressful for anyone. A contested divorce lasts about one year from the filing of the petition for dissolution to the time a court grants the dissolution of marriage. That year is full of financial and emotional uncertainty. An uncontested divorce is much quicker. It requires no court appearances and is much cheaper for both spouses. Read below to learn about uncontested divorces and how we approach representing clients.
We charge low cost, affordable flat rates for uncontested divorces. This covers the cost of having an initial meeting with the client, taking telephone calls from the client, preparing all the necessary pleadings, meeting with the client to sign pleadings, and filing all the pleadings needed for the divorce. The client also needs to pay the court filing fee, which varies from county to county in Missouri. We give clients a discount of the flat fee if the client pays the entire fee up front at the time of the initial consultation. We accept all major credit cards. Additionally, we offer affordable payment plans on all uncontested divorces. Call us now to learn the cost of an uncontested divorce for you.
An uncontested divorce occurs when two parties to a marriage do not dispute any of the issues of a divorce, such as alimony or maintenance, property and debt division, child custody and visitation, and child support. The parties agree in writing to settle all of those issues. The parties then file a divorce petition, property settlement agreement, and parenting plan, if needed, with the court together with an affidavit signed by the parties attesting to the divorce. A judge reviews the information in the pleadings and signs a judgment granting the divorce — provided the terms of the property settlement are fair, and the parenting plan is in the best interest of the child or children of the marriage. Rarely does a court refuse to grant a judgment according to the terms agreed to by the parties.
The primary benefit of an uncontested divorce is the reduced cost. Contested divorces often cost $6,000 or more. Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, an uncontested divorce may cost only one-tenth of that. Uncontested divorces allow for speedy divorce. If the spouses have agreed on all issues, judgment on the divorce may be given by the court thirty days after the divorce has been filed.
Often attorneys state that an uncontested divorce results in a lower level of conflict between the two spouses. However, the inverse is true; where the two parties approach a divorce with a lower level of conflict between them, an uncontested divorce is the result. We believe in an old saying,
You reach an agreement when both sides are happy or both sides are angry, but never when one side is happy and the other is angry.
Therefore, both spouses must be ready to compromise on divorce issues in a manner that may not make them happy, but while understanding that compromise is constructive for both parties and allows them a better relationship to work through post-divorce issues.
An uncontested divorce may be a bad idea for some spouses. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses negotiate with each other; the attorney who is preparing the paperwork does not participate in the negotiations. The attorney will only offer suggestions about issues that must be resolved.
Where a spouse cannot reasonably agree on issues that arise in a divorce, because of fear of domestic violence or emotional or psychological imbalance, an attorney should represent that spouse.
Sometimes, spouses cannot set aside anger or, worse, revenge. Sometimes, spouses are too depressed or emotionally ravaged to think straight. Other times, spouses may have unreasonable expectations as to how one or more divorce issues should be decided. We have seen cases where spouses were willing to compromise themselves, their property, or their children because of religious belief or just plain guilt. To maintain the objectivity necessary to come to an agreement, those spouses should be represented by an attorney in a contested divorce.
An uncontested divorce begins when one spouse hires the attorney to prepare the paperwork required for a court to grant the spouses a divorce. The attorney does not participate in the negotiations and does not make inquiry regarding the extent of the parties’ assets or debts other than having the hiring spouse declare that the assets and debts reported to the attorney are all of the debts and assets of the marriage.
The attorney prepares a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, has the initiating spouse sign the petition, and files the petition with the Court. At the same time, the attorney prepares a waiver for the responding spouse to sign and file with the Court. By signing and filing the waiver with the Court, the responding spouse avoids being served with divorce papers by the sheriff’s department and submits to the jurisdiction of the Court.
The attorney prepares a Marital Property Agreement setting forth the division of assets and indebtedness to which the spouses have agreed. The property agreement will state the agreement of the spouses as to whether either spouse is to receive any maintenance (alimony) after the divorce. Additionally, the attorney will prepare a parenting plan setting forth the terms of child custody, visitation, and child support. Again, the spouses, as parents, must agree to how legal custody and physical custody is shared between the parents. The parenting plan also will have an attached Form 14 (child support computation) that shows the presumed amount of support either of the parties should have to pay for child support. The spouses may agree to a different amount of child support than computed on Form 14.
The attorney will prepare an affidavit setting forth the basic information that the spouses would have to testify to if they were to appear in court for the divorce. After the spouses sign the Martial Property Agreement, parenting plan, and affidavit, the attorney files them, together with a proposed judgment for the Court to sign. In this manner, neither spouse appears in court to obtain the divorce, and the Court can grant a divorce without a hearing.
In an uncontested divorce, the attorney and the spouse hiring the attorney enter into an agreement setting the scope of the attorney’s representation of that spouse. The attorney does not have ANY attorney-client relationship with the other spouse. Any information given by the attorney is for general information only, and the information is not legal advice. If the other spouse has a legal question, that spouse must talk with another attorney or find his or her own information to answer the question. Spouses can find good, sound information to negotiate with the other spouse without talking to an attorney. Often this includes the spouse talking to an accountant, a real estate broker, and the spouse’s banker. Information easily is gathered from credit card and mortgage companies. Other information can be gathered off the Internet. Even talking to friends and family is valuable, especially when considering child custody.
If you and your spouse think uncontested divorce is right for you, contact us today to get started. We will advise you of how much the process will cost in your case and help you take the first steps toward finalizing your divorce.