It can be overwhelming how much is at stake during the divorce process. Child support, alimony and asset division can affect your financial security and living situation. More importantly, child custody issues can alter the role you play in the lives of your children.
During this difficult time you need a partner in your corner you know you can count on to champion your rights and the rights of your children in family court.
Our Arnold, Missouri, attorneys exclusively practice family law with a focus on men’s divorce so they understand the issues you are going to face as a man and father. The firm’s Arnold attorneys will work with you to achieve your goals in court and transition to the next chapter of your life.
Divorce Attorneys Dedicated to Helping Men
Cordell & Cordell’s Arnold attorneys focus on men’s divorce gives them a greater understanding of the unique challenges men and fathers face in the family court system.
Our Arnold attorneys can handle a broad range of family law issues from uncontested divorce to complex asset division.
Throughout the process, they remain advisors and advocates for men before, during, and after divorce.
Advocates For Dad’s Rights and Fathers’ Rights
Cordell & Cordell was founded in 1990 by Joseph E. Cordell and his wife, Yvonne, with the goal of helping level the playing field for men in divorce court.
Since then, the firm has grown into one of the largest family law firms in the world with more than 100 offices across the country. The firm expanded internationally in 2015 by opening its first office in the United Kingdom.
Frequently Asked Jefferson County Divorce Questions
How long do I have to live in Jefferson County to file for divorce?
Residency requirements are specific per state statute. The general rule allows a party to file a Petition for divorce in the county that he resides or the county that the other party resides.
Technically, if an individual has lived in the county for 1 day, then that person can file for divorce; however, that general rule is subject to several exceptions.
If the Respondent argues that the Petitioner should have filed the divorce in a different county, then the divorce action could be transferred to a county that has more contacts to the marriage.
A judge will generally transfer a case to a different county if:
1. Within the 90 days prior to filing of the Petition the other party to the case resided in a different county with minor children who are subject to the divorce proceedings; and
2. There are significant ties to another county, such as marital residence or other property is located in another county.
Is there a mandatory waiting period in Jefferson County before a divorce can be granted? How long will a divorce take?
There is a waiting period before the divorce may be granted. This time frame is set by state statute and is 30 days from the date that the Petition was filed.
The time that a divorce takes to complete is difficult to estimate. You must properly file paperwork with the Circuit Clerk and your case must be placed on the judge’s docket.
Sometimes judges are overloaded with work and your case is not scheduled for several months from the date you filed. This delay in scheduling can cause a delay in your divorce becoming finalized.
If you have an attorney and both parties are able to agree to the division of debts, assets and child support (if children are involved), then the process is generally faster and can take less than 60 to 90 days.
How can I serve my spouse in Jefferson County? If attempts to serve do not work, can I serve by publication?
There are several methods to serve your spouse. The quickest and easiest way is to request a special process server. This person is hired by you to seek out and find your spouse and serve her with the Petition for Dissolution.
You may also use the local sheriff’s office for service. However, the sheriff’s department will generally not wait around your wife’s work for several hours if she is trying to avoid service.
If you are unable to locate your spouse, you may serve him or her by publication. State law requires that you provide notice in a newspaper of general circulation in a county where the civil action is commenced once a week for four consecutive weeks.
What are the specific forms I will need to file for a divorce in Jefferson County?
You will need to file a Petition, a Case Information Filing Sheet, and a Certificate of Dissolution.
Where do I file for divorce?
You cannot file for divorce in municipal court. You must file in the circuit court. In Jefferson County, you need to file at the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court located at 300 Main St. in Hillsboro.
How much are filing fees in Jefferson County?
The filing fee for a divorce with children is $265, and the fee for a divorce without children is $165. The filing fee does not include the cost to serve the other party.
Are there any Jefferson County-Specific laws that are different from how other family law cases around the state are handled?
Each county has a separate set of local rules. These local rules outline how much time you have to respond to certain motions or to prepare and file certain documents.
If you are not aware of the timing of when you need to respond or prepare basic forms you could negatively impact the outcome of your case.
As far as the laws are concerned, every county follows Missouri’s Statutes on Family Law. However, the interpretation of the laws is up to the judge that is assigned to your case.
Certain counties are known for frequently awarding maintenance while others are not. This is not because that county follows a different set of rules.
The reason behind the diverse outcomes in similar situations is due to individual judges interpreting the laws in his or her unique way.
Arnold Client Testimonials
“Great communication from Michelle. She did her best to keep me informed, including times when the opposing party did not follow through with their timeframe/commitment to details.”
“Divorce and custody disputes are both a legal and a psychological experience. Michelle has done a good job of setting my expectations and answering questions I have to better prepare me. … If I had to do it all over again I would have used Cordell & Cordell initially. …”
“I could not have asked for a better team of individuals to be working with. Kristin [and her team] truly define the definition of exceptionally special people to work with. I feel that I am blessed to have them pick me up and move me forward. I am thankful for the patience and care that they have delivered to me through this time in my life. They truly have made me feel like a person and not a statistic or number. Thank you.”