A common question we get in January is whether the client we previously consulted with in the fall should go ahead and file for divorce. First, no one can tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Only you know what is best for your situation. However, there are three key situations where we generally advise that you do file for divorce in Missouri as soon as possible:
- You don’t agree on a custody schedule for the kids. The two of you are constantly fighting, one parent is taking the kids without telling the other parent, and you don’t know where your kids are because the other parent has decided you’re on a need-to-know basis. This kind of situation is so unhealthy for kids that if you can’t agree even on an informal custody schedule temporarily then you need to file for divorce.
- The bills aren’t getting paid. You don’t agree on who should pay what bills and how the bills should be divided between you. One of you wants to move out or you are living together but no longer agree on who should pay what. This is another situation where the lack of filing for divorce is going to have serious financial consequences for one or both of you.
- You are physically in danger and You don’t feel safe. There are constant threats and there has already been domestic violence. You are sick with worry living in the same house as your spouse. Maybe there hasn’t been domestic violence but there has been an uptick in the emotional hostility between you. Not feeling safe is a key indicator that you need to file for divorce and invoke the protection of the court for your own safety.
Perhaps another less important reason for filing for divorce is that you are separated but your spouse is not paying child support. In Missouri, you can’t get retroactive child support prior to the date of filing. So, the longer you wait the more child support you are giving up. Similarly, the debt incurred prior to actual filing will most likely be equitably divided between you. If your spouse is a big spender who can’t control his spending, then waiting to file divorce is only going to hurt you financially. For these and other tips about divorce make sure you contact us today to set up your consultation for divorce.