What is Legal Separation in Missouri

Seek Legal Help For Legal Separation Today

What is Legal Separation in Missouri? In various legal systems, it has different meanings. So, it is highly recommended to get advice from an experienced Missouri family law attorney that deals with legal separation.

Nobody likes to be in the position of having to think about legal separation in Missouri, and we at Doyel Law are aware of this. But because of the realities of life, it occasionally becomes essential.

Our Missouri Family Law attorney can assist if you have questions about what is legal separation in Missouri, how the procedure works, or what the benefits of separation are. To learn more, get in touch with us right away.

Why Do I Need a Family Law Attorney in Missouri?

It is in your best interests to talk with an experienced family lawyer about your case if you are thinking about going through with a legal separation. Just as no two marriages or legal separations are the same, neither are any two relationships. When it comes to legal separation, Missouri has its own unique regulations. 

The Doyel Law can assist you if you’re thinking about divorcing or filing for divorce. Our firm is ready to support you during this process since we understand how challenging ending a relationship can be. In order to help you decide the best course of action, we can go over the advantages and disadvantages of the situation with you.

Continue reading or get in touch with our skilled family law attorney through the chat box located in the lower right portion of our homepage website. 

What is Legal Separation in Missouri? 

Separations can have numerous forms; some last only a few months, while others last for many years. When one partner submits a petition for separate maintenance, the legal separation process in Missouri begins. In fact, Missouri encourages couples to obtain a legal separation before declaring divorce and permits legal separations. 

When the court determines that there’s a reasonable chance that marriage can be saved and is not irretrievably broken, it then issues a legal separation judgment. This also means that, to the extent of its jurisdiction, the court has taken into account the support and custody provisions for each child, as well as the distribution of the parties’ property and the support of each spouse.

The court must wait 30 days after the petition is filed before granting a legal separation. Without technically ending the marriage, a ruling of separate maintenance gives the couple legal rights resembling those of a divorce. If the couple wants to stay together, a legal separation is a good option to divorce. As the couple is still married, the separation ruling must simply be dismissed to allow for a full reconciliation.

What are the Benefits of Legal Separation in Missouri?

The legal separation in Missouri has several benefits. If you and your spouse jointly own a home, for instance, the legal separation agreement will specify who will pay for what expenses as well as who will reside in the residence. If you rent a house, your legal separation may also alter landlord-tenant relationships. Who is responsible for what aspect of the home’s maintenance should be considered and specified in a legal separation agreement?

Most couples have shared checking, savings, and credit accounts. Whether or if both spouses continue to have access to these accounts would be specified in a separation agreement. It could specify that all bank accounts must be closed and new accounts must be opened in their names.

It may also specify who is responsible for making payments on any joint credit accounts the couple may have. Both spouses are protected by outlining all matters relating to how money is spent and who is accountable for what. If you need assistance, a knowledgeable Missouri family law attorney can help you resolve this.

Most importantly, if you reside in an equitable distribution state, a legal separation agreement will defend you from being held accountable for any debt incurred by your spouse during the separation term. If you reside in a state where community property is allowed, a legal separation agreement does not grant you this protection.

What is the Missouri Legal Separation Process?

In Missouri, legal separation is encouraged rather than divorce. This makes the procedure rather simple and quick, especially when working with a skilled family lawyer. While some couples may be capable of filing for separate maintenance without legal counsel, it is usually in the best interest of both parties to speak with a family lawyer first if there are any property, alimony, or child custody issues that need to be resolved.

One or both parties must file a petition to the circuit county court in order to initiate a legal separation. If the court determines that there is a fair probability that the marriage can be preserved and that it is not irretrievably broken after the petition is filed, the court will issue a ruling of legal separation. At this point, decisions on child custody and visitation as well as alimony, child support, and property division will be made.

According to Missouri Revised Statutes Section 452.310, the petition for separate maintenance must specify both the date of physical separation and the location and date of the marriage. It must also list any children from the union, their names and ages, as well as any agreements the couple has made for child support and custody.

In Missouri, a couple does not need to provide grounds for their desire for a legal separation. To proceed with the separation, however, grounds must be established if one of the spouses rejects the petitioner’s request for separation as filed. Similar to grounds for divorce, these include:

  • One of the spouses committed adultery
  • Living together is intolerable for one of the spouses.
  • Criminal activity has either been committed by one or both spouses.
  • For at least 24 months, the two parties have lived separately.
  • Before filing the petition, one spouse had continuously abandoned the other for at least six months.
  • Prior to the petition’s filing, both parties had lived separately and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of 12 months.
  • The irretrievable breakdown of a marriage

As was already said, if both parties decide to patch up their marriage, a separate maintenance order might be dissolved. On the other hand, in Missouri, a divorce petition may be submitted within 90 days of the legal separation being issued by the court.

Why Should You Consider Legal Separation in Missouri?

You and your spouse can save time and money by getting a legal separation. In Missouri, the legal procedure for turning a separation order into a decree is very simple. A legal separation period also gives couples time to work out their issues and decide what they really want out of a divorce. For other couples, a separation period allows couples who are on the verge of divorcing the chance to mend their differences.

Many divorcing spouses find this “cooling off” period to be essential. When given a chance to assess their priorities and think about whether divorce is actually what they want, many spouses handle the situation more rationally. For other couples, a separation period may provide one partner time to look for work and rebuild their finances. Couples rarely suffer financial damage from a legal separation, and you usually come out of it better off if you do decide to divorce in the end.

Call our  Missouri Family Law Attorney Now!

Consider legal separation first before you take the plunge and file for divorce. A legal separation typically has no negative financial consequences for either party and may even help save the marriage. Separate maintenance will give you and your spouse time to consider what is best for your future, whether you want to restore your marriage after separation or proceed with the divorce.

Although it differs from divorce in several ways, legal separation can provide a lot of the same legal protections. You and your spouse might be able to test the waters of breaking up through this approach without actually ending your marriage. Couples who stand to gain financially from continuing their marriage despite the breakdown of their relationship may also benefit from it.

The Doyel Law is here to assist if you’re thinking about getting a legal separation. The split of a relationship can be challenging, and our Sunset Hills family law attorney is here to support you through it. Contact us right away to learn more about this legal topic and to go over your options for the best outcome possible.

If you have any more legal concerns about family law, a bankruptcy case, or an estate planning case, you may also reach out to our law firm.

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