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TERRY L. KAUFMAN Attorney at Law
TERRY L. KAUFMAN      Attorney at Law

What is an "Uncontested Divorce"?

Either spouse can decide to end the marriage, but both you and your spouse decide to end the marriage as amicably as possible and you are both in agreement with regard to all issues encompassed by that decision such as:

  •        Which assets and debts are considered marital and separate
  •        How to divide the marital assets and debts
  •        If there will be maintenance to either party, and if so, how much and for how long
  •        Provisions for child custody, visitation, and support, if applicable

What is the General Process for an Uncontested Divorce?

Generally, the entire process generally takes less than 60 days from initial meeting through finalization of your case. 

  1. There will be an initial meeting at my office (your spouse may attend with you, if you like) to discuss your case and obtain inforamtion for all necessary paperwork.  This usually takes 1-2 hours. My fee is paid to commence service at this time.
  2. I draft all anticipated documents needed for your case from start to finish.  This usually takes up to 5 business days.
  3. I forward the proposed documents to you for your review and approval.
  4. You and your spouse stop by my office (together or separately) to sign all necessary proposed settlement documents in the presence of a Notary Public. I collect the Court's filing fee (usually $125-$150) at this time.
  5. Your case is filed with the court.  A mandatory (per Missouri law) 30-day waiting period begins.
  6. Once the 30-days have passed, I present your case to the assigned Judge for review.
  7. The Judge signs your Judgment and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage if everything looks proper and reasonable.

What are Some Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce vs. Traditional Divorce?

If you and your spouse can sit down to work out a reasonable agreement, you can save much time, expense, and stress versus the traditional approach where each spouse hires an adversarial attorney. You also maintain better control over the outcome of your case, eliminating much of the stress and worry associated with otherwise potential negative results of litigation.  Finally, you may maintain better raport with your former spouse by choosing to work together, especially helpful if you have children.

 

What is the Benefit of Hiring an Attorney for my Uncontested Divorce?

Less stress.  Your case is done correctly and efficiently.  It is not my role to help you work out the terms of your uncontested divorce. My role is simply to facilitate your divorce along the terms agreed upon between you and your spouse.  I am knowledgable with regard to issues that are likely to arise while your case is pending and likely to arise out of your proposed disposition of various matters included in your divorce.  I can work to minimize any bumps you may encounter and to provide suggestions for your settlement to ease transfer of assets and minimize future liability.  I can also point out when something is impractcial or impossible to enforce or live with. Finally, I can usually (the vast majority of the time) submit the settlement documetns to the Judge wihtout iether party's need to peronally appear in court. 

 

Do We Both Need Our Own Attorney?

One attorney can draft all necessary paperwork and finalize the case in a truly uncontested divorce. This is more of a question for your spouse regarding their comfort level with the situation.  I cannot provide dual representation in this matter - even if both parties are amicable to that idea.  I can only represent one party so I cannot provide any legal advice to your spouse.  Your spouse is welcome to speak with or hire another attorney to provide legal advice, review proposed documents drafted by my office, or provide general legal counsel.  If your spouse feels comfortable proceeding without their own attorney, they sign a waiver which is then included in the Court file.

 

What are Your Prices?

My prices for uncontested divorces are pretty straight forward and are as follows:

  • With Children:       From $800
  • Without Children:  From $600

What is Included in Your Price?

My fee includes my anticipated time to take your case from initial consultation through obtaining the Judge's signature to finalize your uncontested divorce.  This includes our initial consultation, drafting all necessary for your uncontested divorce, any revisions that may be needed on those documents, notarizing signatures on those documents, and my time to file the case and present same to the Judge. My fee does not include charges that are outside of my control such as court filing fees, records expenses, and the like.  My fee also does not include documents that are customarily drafted after the divorce is granted such as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) or deeds.  I can still prepare the post-judgment documents for you, if you wish.  There is a separate fee for those documents.

 

Do you have questions about our services?

Contact us at 636 946-4343 or via email at tlkatty@msn.com

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