Divorce is a complicated process that can have lasting financial and emotional impacts. Some parties want to save money on the costs of getting a divorce and may try to navigate the process without hiring an attorney. Before signing a divorce decree in Missouri, you need to understand what the document means and the consequences of your signature.
What is a Divorce Decree?
A divorce decree is a legal document that finalizes a divorce and lays out the terms of the settlement agreement between the spouses. This decree includes important issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody arrangements. Before signing a divorce decree, it is essential to review and understand the terms of the agreement thoroughly.
Relevant Factors to Consider
Divorce decrees outline the division of all marital property and assets, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement funds, and personal belongings. Make sure that you understand the terms of the property division and that it is fair and equitable.
If one spouse is ordered to pay alimony, also known as spousal support, the payment amount and duration should be outlined in the divorce decree. It is vital to understand the terms of the spousal support agreement, including the amount of payments and how long they will last.
When minor children are involved, divorce decrees should clearly outline physical custody (where the child will live) and legal custody (who has the authority to make decisions about the child’s upbringing). Make sure you understand the custody arrangement and that it is in the best interest of your children.
If one parent is ordered to pay child support, the payment amount and frequency are typically outlined in the divorce decree. You should understand the terms of the child support agreement and ensure the amount is fair and reasonable.
Property and asset division, spousal support, and child support can all have significant tax implications. Make sure you understand the potential tax consequences of your divorce decree and consider consulting a tax professional before signing.
Divorce decrees are binding legal agreements but can be modified in certain circumstances. For example, suppose one spouse experiences a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss or an increase in income. In that case, they may be able to modify child custody and support agreements. Your attorney can explain the process for modifying a divorce decree if the need arrives later.
Should You Hire A Divorce Attorney?
Although you are not legally required to hire an attorney, it can be one of the wisest decisions a person can make. The divorce process in Missouri can be complex, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Here are just a few important reasons to hire an experienced attorney to handle your divorce:
An experienced family law attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to handle all aspects of your divorce. They’ll protect your rights and help ensure that the terms of your divorce decree are fair and equitable.
Missouri is an equitable distribution state, meaning that assets are divided fairly between the two parties. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complex process of dividing assets and debts fairly while keeping your best interests in mind.
Child custody and support
Child custody and support are often critical issues in a divorce. A divorce attorney can help you understand the law and ensure that your children’s best interests are protected.
To simplify the process
The divorce process can be complex and time-consuming. A divorce attorney can simplify the process and handle the legal aspects of your divorce, freeing you up to focus on your emotional well-being and moving on with your life.
Don’t Try to Handle It On Your Own
Divorce is one of the most complicated legal processes people encounter. An experienced divorce attorney will ensure that critical issues, including child custody, support, and a fair financial settlement, are the focus. Hiring a divorce attorney can provide peace of mind and help ensure your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.
Hire An Experienced Family Law Attorney
The attorneys at the Lecour Family Law can help you navigate complex and stressful family legal matters, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Contact us online or call (636) 685-0440 to schedule a consultation. We pride ourselves on offering family legal services tailored to your specific needs.
Lecour Family Law is located at 1270 Jungermann Road in St. Peters, Missouri. We serve clients throughout St. Charles, O’Fallon, Troy, Warrenton, and St. Louis.