Cordell & Cordell is a partner dads can count on during one of the toughest challenges of their lives. The family law attorneys at our Chesterfield, Missouri office are dedicated to helping men in the greater St. Louis, MO area with any divorce issue, including property division, alimony, child support and child custody.
Our mission is to give men the legal support they and their children deserve both in and out of the courtroom.
Divorce Attorneys Dedicated to Helping Men in Chesterfield, MO
Divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone, no matter how tough you are. The decisions you make during this time will have an enormous impact on you financially for the rest of your life.
More importantly, your level of involvement in your children’s lives can also be affected. Our attorneys take the time to listen to your concerns and work diligently to champion your rights and the rights of your children in family court.
We know how critical this transition is and promise to walk you through each step of the process while doing everything possible to protect what’s most important to you.
Advocates For Dad’s Rights and Fathers’ Rights
Since 1990, Cordell & Cordell has fought against numerous stereotypes that men and fathers face in the family court system. Our firm’s focus on men’s divorce gives our attorneys a unique understanding of the challenges men face in a Missouri family law courtroom.
Despite battling a system that seems predisposed against them, Cordell & Cordell has risen to establish ourselves as a partner men can count on.
Frequently Asked Saint Louis Divorce Questions
How long do I have to live in Saint Louis 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 before a Saint Louis 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 Saint Louis 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 Saint Louis Divorce?
In Saint Louis County, you will need to file a Petition, an Income and Expense Statement, a Property Statement, a Case Information Filing Sheet, a Certificate of Dissolution, and a certificate of any prior family law matters (can be a simple statement as to whether you previously participated in a family law case or child custody matter with these same parties).
In Saint Louis City, you will need to file a Petition, an Income and Expense Statement, a Property Statement, a Case Information Filing Sheet, and a Certificate of Dissolution.
Where do I file for divorce?
You cannot file for divorce in municipal court. In Saint Louis County, you need to file at the 21st Judicial Circuit Court located at 7900 Carondelet in Clayton.
In Saint Louis City, you need to file at the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court located at 10 N. Tucker in downtown Saint Louis.
How much are filing fees in Saint Louis?
The filing fee for a divorce is $140 in Saint Louis County and $209 in Saint Louis City. The filing fee does not include the cost to serve the other party.
Are there any Saint Louis-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.