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Some Common Family Law Questions of the Week

How do I file for divorce in the State of Missouri?

To file for divorce you must fill out a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and pay a filing fee with the Court. Within fifteen days of filing your Petition, you are required to file a completed Income and Expense Statement, a Statement of Marital Property and Liabilities, and, if you have children, a Form 14: Presumed Child Support Worksheet. If your case involves at least one child under age 17, you must attend a parenting class called Focus on Kids within thirty days of filing your Petition. Your spouse will have thirty days to respond to your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Can we waive the thirty-day waiting period to finalize our divorce?

No. This waiting period is required by Missouri statute.

What is the parenting class that is available and/or required for divorcing parents in Missouri?

Pursuant to Boone County Local Court Rules, if a family law matter involves at least one child under the age of 17, there is a requirement to attend the Focus on Kids Program within thirty days of filing a Petition or responsive pleading. The number to call to attend this program is 573-886-4038. This is a one-time requirement for divorcing parents. The class lasts approximately three (3) hours and you cannot attend with your spouse/former spouse. If you are the Petitioner in this action the fee for this class is paid with your filing fee. If you are the Respondent in the action you must pay for the class before you can take it and the cost is $60.00. Focus on Kids now has an online program also available.

What mental health resources are available in Missouri to people in a child custody dispute?

MissouriFamilies.org has a wealth of information for divorcing families. You can also look for a licensed therapist near you through the Therapy Directory at Psychology Today.