Marital Separation in Missouri
The thought of matching to a family law court is one most people don’t want to imagine. However, if you ask people whose marriages ended, they will tell you this, ‘You Just Know It.’ It is true that there are many times that couples cover up what happens in their relationships/ marriages and only opt out when things are too bad. But, this shouldn’t be the case. If you feel like you are no longer good for each other, you should opt out.
You should, however, note that opting out doesn’t always mean divorce. There is an alternative – marital separation agreement.
Why Legal Separation?
The marital separation agreement in Missouri is what couples opt for when they feel like their marriages can still be salvaged though, at the moment of the application; there exist circumstances that make the marriage untenable. Such circumstances include substance abuse problems, protection of property from losses, and the need to enter orders for a relevant child custody case.
In other cases, couples choose legal separation because divorce isn’t an option according to their religious or moral grounds. Other times, your mind may not be made up, and a legal separation is the best way for you two to decide on the best course of action.
Also, if the spouse’s health insurance plan, through the employer allows that the employee maintains their spouse on their health insurance plan when legally separated and not when divorced. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly rare.
Regardless of the reason, after you sign the marital separation agreement, you will remain married to each other, and you won’t have the option of marrying other people. Divorce lets you remarry because the process resolves the marriage.
What happens in the legal separation?
During the process of separation, just like divorce, the court gives orders and judgments on child custody and support, spousal support and maintenance, as well as the division of property and debts.
What happens when one party wants a divorce, and the other seeks a marital separation agreement?
As you contemplate filing a Petition for Legal Separation, beware of the fact that your spouse may go ahead and file their petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This is acceptable in Family Law Courts. If this is the case and after the court listens to a highly contested hearing, the court may find that the marriage is irretrievable and it will enter a divorce judgment over the objection.
Note 1 – In circumstances where one party files for a marital separation agreement in Missouri and the other party files for a divorce, the decision made will depend on the evidence presented, and the factors stipulated in the Missouri Statutes.
Note 2 – If, after 90 days from the entry for the decree of legal separation either spouse files for a divorce, the motion can be converted into a divorce. However, if both parties desire to live together as husband and wife after the decree of legal separation is entered, they will have to file for a joint dismissal signed by both parties at the circuit clerk’s office where the judgment was entered.
Divorce or Legal Separation
The decision to file for separation or a divorce depends on your circumstances. Before going for or against, understand your circumstances.
You can get generate a free marital separation agreement by filling above form and steps.
Whether you live in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, Independence, Lee’s Summit, O’Fallon, St. Joseph, St. Charles or any other city of Missouri, you can use our legal forms easily.