Kansas City Lawyer Offering Answers to Your Questions About Divorce
It is very common for people to have questions about the divorce process and how to adequately prepare for it. I have provided the following frequently asked questions below in an attempt to share some basic information about divorce and help clarify any misconceptions. Please note, it is always best to speak directly with an experienced family law attorney for answers to your specific questions.
I don't want to get divorced. Can I stop it from happening?
It is not possible for one spouse to stop a divorce from taking place if the other spouse is insistent. Kansas and Missouri are no-fault states. This means if one party wants a divorce, a divorce will occur. All one needs to tell the court is that you and your spouse are incompatible or that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
In some circumstances, however, a separation agreement may be an alternative to divorce. With a separation agreement, you remain legally married, but will still need to address matters of property division, alimony and child custody. A separation agreement gives you time to work out marital issues and preserve the foundation of the marriage.
Do I have to go to court to settle my divorce?
In a traditional divorce, each party obtains their own legal representation and matters such as spousal maintenance/alimony, child support and child custody are resolved in court. This can prove to be a highly contentious and stressful process. However, if a couple is willing to work together to resolve these divorce matters outside of the courtroom, they may be good candidates for a collaborative divorce.
In a collaborative divorce, each side retains their own attorney and all participants sign a contract stating that they agree to work amicably and openly with one another. In the event negotiations fail, the attorneys cannot continue to represent the separating spouses.
How long will the divorce take?
There is no exact formula for calculating how long a divorce will take. Each situation is different depending on how long it takes a couple to agree to a settlement or how backed up the court system is. In general, divorce can take anywhere from 60 days to one year.
How can I prepare for my divorce?
Collecting and organizing current financial records is helpful. You may also want to keep a log of your expenses and receipts to back them up. This can prove useful when it comes to calculating child support and spousal maintenance/alimony.
You will also want to itemize all of the assets of the marriage (real estate, bank accounts, pension plans, vehicles, etc.), as well as property you acquired outside of the marriage.
How much will my divorce cost?
This is a difficult question to answer. Fees vary depending upon the time and legal tasks involved in your divorce. The more organized you are with paperwork and questions, the less time you will need to spend with your attorney, which saves you money in the end.
Contact the Law Firm of Kevin Stuart Cavanaugh
I am available to meet with you during daytime, evening or weekend hours to discuss your specific divorce situation. I will explain the law, present your options and work with you to set attainable goals. Contact me to arrange a free initial consultation.