The Legal Dos and Don'ts of Getting a Divorce in Missouri

On behalf of Hyland Law Firm, LLC posted in Kansas Divorce Attorney on Thursday, August 16, 2012.

It goes without saying that getting a divorce can be both physically and emotionally taxing to all parties involved. As a result, it is easy to make mistakes that can end up creating huge legal headaches and expose you to costly legal claims by your spouse. For example, some people decide to represent themselves in order to save money, while others decide to engage in revengeful behavior towards a spouse, which can all create serious and permanent legal consequences. As a result, it is essential to consider the following advice when contemplating a divorce, such as:

1. No matter what, don't represent yourself.

We have all heard of the old saying "those who represent themselves have a fool for a client." There is a reason why this saying exists. Specifically, if you decide not to hire an experienced Missouri divorce attorney, you can expose yourself to all sorts of claims, such as those for maintenance and child support. You can also potentially lose out on property that you would otherwise be entitled to during the property division phase of your divorce case. Had you hired an attorney, you would have been able to understand what your legal rights and obligations are in this regard and how to best protect yourself and your interests.

2. Don't respond to your spouse's invitations for conflict.

Despite how tempting it may be to respond to your spouse's nasty text messages or emails, it is critical to keep your cool and either a) not respond, or b) answer the communication in a positive and non-threatening matter. In Missouri, your spouse can use text messages, emails or other written communications (that were made during the marriage) against you in court, which, among other things, could potentially lead to an inequitable distribution of property in your spouse's favor. Courts in Missouri are entitled to consider several factors in separating marital property - such as the conduct of the parties during the marriage - and in order to preserve your rights to same, it is crucial to keep yourself out of conflict with your spouse and remain civil, despite how hard it may be.

3. Listen to the advice of your attorney and remain informed during your case.

A lot of times, emotions run high during a divorce case, which can cause anyone to become distracted and unfocused. Regardless, it is essential to consider your attorney's advice when seeking legal help, no matter how frustrated or upset you are over having to get a divorce or the costs associated with same. For instance, while your attorney must give you all options necessary to help you make informed decisions about your case, it is important to stay focused and listen. Many clients get so caught up in the anger and emotion of it all that they do not pay attention to what their attorney tells them. The only way you can make an informed decision is to have all of the information available to you and to understand it as well. The best way to do this is to write down what your attorney tells you, ask questions if you aren't clear about something, and review all letters, emails and documents that your attorney sends you. Also, keep all communications in a safe place for further review and consideration during your case.

4. Keep your kids out of the conflict.

There is nothing worse than dealing with a custody battle between warring spouses that have dragged their children into the middle of the conflict. This does nothing but create hostility, resentment and potentially serious and irreversible relationship issues with both your spouse and children moving forward. While divorce legally ends your marriage, it does not entitle you to avoid your spouse in the future, especially when children are involved. You must remember that once your divorce is finalized, you will still have to deal with your former spouse in coordinating visitation schedules and also, in making critical decisions involving your children's educational, medical and other important needs.

In light of the above, it is best to contact an experienced Missouri divorce attorney, who can assist you in making informed decisions about your case and also, in optimizing your chances in getting what you want out of your divorce. Call us now to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you.

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