At the Piatchek Law Firm, our attorneys help clients who are cooperative with their soon-to-be ex-spouse and want to have a quick, simple divorce without fighting. This means that both spouses are in full agreement and simply want to minimize the stress placed on themselves and their family, especially in cases where children are involved.
We focus on cases where the parties are in agreement and want an affordable alternative to the standard hourly divorce. In the world of hourly fees between two battling attorneys, there is often very little incentive to settle, because fighting is good for business. It seems that everyone these days has either been through a long and expensive divorce or knows a friend or family member who has. At the Piatchek Law Firm, we offer a very different alternative to standard contested divorce. This inexpensive and time-saving alternative is the cooperative, uncontested divorce.
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What Is a Cooperative, Uncontested Divorce?
A cooperative, uncontested divorce means that both spouses are in agreement about all aspects of the divorce, including, in particular, the following matters:
- Both parties agree that a divorce is necessary.
- Both parties are willing to cooperate with one another.
- Both parties agree on how all property should be divided.
- Both parties agree on child, child support, and custody issues.
- Both parties desire an alternative to a typical long, expensive divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, our firm can only represent one of the parties, usually the petitioner. Attorneys typically will not represent both parties, because this would likely be a conflict of interest. It would be the equivalent of an attorney representing a plaintiff who is suing an insurance company, while also representing the insurance company. It would be impossible to serve both parties effectively, and such representation would not be ethical.
When considering whether your case will be contested or uncontested, please understand that your case is not uncontested/cooperative in the following circumstances:
- Both parties agree on most but not all of the issues.
- The parties have one or more disagreements on which they can’t seem to compromise.
- One party refuses to cooperate.
- One party cannot be found.
Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce
In an uncontested divorce, the parties are free to choose their own destiny without much interference from attorneys or the court. While a judge has ultimate discretion to accept, reject, or modify any of the terms of the divorce, typically a court will not question terms upon which both parties have agreed unless such terms are clearly unfair or unconscionable to one or both of the parties.
This means that in an uncontested divorce, the parties may choose if they are to have joint custody or if one party will have sole custody, what the child support amount will be, how the property will be divided, and any other matters involved in the divorce. Additional benefits of uncontested divorce include the following:
- Uncontested divorces are typically more affordable.
- Uncontested divorces are typically completed more quickly.
- Uncontested divorces typically do not require a court appearance if at least one party hires an attorney.
If the above description sounds like your case and your divorce is uncontested, call us today at 417-882-5858 to schedule a free consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about uncontested divorces as well.
Additional Information About Uncontested Divorces
We have additional information regarding uncontested divorce on our website, with entire pages devoted to the following topics:
- What is the difference between an uncontested divorce and a contested divorce?
- Do I really need an attorney for a cooperative, uncontested divorce?
- What do I do if I am unable to locate my spouse, and I have not talked to him/her in some time?
- What is a divorce by publication?
Missouri Counties That Do Not Require a Court Appearance for Uncontested Divorce
There are many Missouri counties that may not require a court hearing for a cooperative, uncontested divorce, including all of the counties listed below. Please keep in mind that the list is always changing, and a given county may change their rules at any time.
Sainte Francois County
Ste. Genevieve County
St. Charles County
St. Claire County
St. Louis County
Finally, please understand that “the rule” that allows us to file without a court hearing may be different from county to county. For example, some of the above counties may require a hearing if there are minor children involved. If your county is not listed, a court hearing is likely required. In the event a court hearing is required, there will be an additional fee (agreed upon in advance) above and beyond our typical flat fee. Additionally, in this event, we may hire local counsel to appear on your case, which may still be cheaper than many of the other alternatives.