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I received a petition for dissolution of marriage, Waiver of…

Customer Question
I received a petition...

I received a petition for dissolution of marriage, Waiver of Service and Entry of appearance, Statement of Income and Expenses, Statement of Property and vital statistics form papers to sign yesterday from my wife. I live in St. louis MO. I would like to know my rights and what I need to do next to cover my best interests in this matter. The paperwork states to review these and advise if any changes are needed and complete the vital statistics form. I am not finding a vital statistics form to complete. What info does that form pertain to?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Missouri

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No, My wife says I just need to sign that I have received the aforementioned Petitioner's petition for dissolution of marriage. By signing I will voluntarily enter my appearance in this matter.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Is there a fee?

Lawyer's Assistant: You just pay a $5 deposit now and the rest only when you get a reply from the Family Lawyer. All of this is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you can get a refund if you're not happy for any reason.

Would you recommend me finding a local lawyer locally to see face to face to discuss this matter? One who does the initial consultation and evaluation for free? My budget is extremely tight.

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Answered in 10 minutes by:
10/3/2017
Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago
RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 48,208
Experience: 30 years as a family law lawyer .
Verified

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Can we chat online, I find this allows you to have the email for reference and to think about each reply to make sure you get everything.

Have you agreed to terms here, are there any kids, property .,etc.

Thanks.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
How do I find out if all mutual assets have been reported??
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Do I have to hire my own legal representative to find out if all mutual assets incurred during our marriage are being fully disclosed properly. Is there any way to find if and when contributions were made to my wives retirement funds.
Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

The waiver here just saves her from serving you.You don't have to sign it.The divorce decree and settlement ought to list all assets here.You can contact the court here and order copies of anything.You can get all the documents yourself and then decide on a lawyer or not.

Statement of Income and Expenses, Statement of Property--these should have all income, marital property and debts.

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Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Lawyer for you here if you cannot resolve this or get answers from the documents you get from the court.

Call The Missouri Bar Lawyer Referral Service at(###) ###-####

The Missouri Bar Lawyer Referral Service handles ALL counties

statewide, except for the City of St. Louis, St Louis County, and Springfield.

If you need an attorney in St. Louis, you may contact(###) ###-#### in

Springfield, call(###) ###-####for a referral

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Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Check here you are looking for item 6 here the judgment and decree to see if everything got listed.

http://www.selfrepresent.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=3832

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Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

These may help especially items 5 and 14.

http://www.cutreralaw.com/resources/missouri-divorce-law-frequently-asked-questions/

Good luck with all here, thanks for letting me help.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I am still unclear on how I insure all my spouses assets are being disclosed legally. Am I responsible for 50% of her sole credit card debts? LPL is all that is listed for 3 different retirement, pension and/or profit plans. Is there any way for me to find what contributions were made and when to these plans?
Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Any income assets, or debts acquired from date of marriage until date she filed are marital debts.You may want to have your own lawyer here it protects you.

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Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

“Marital” property is all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Missouri law assumes that all property is marital unless a spouse can prove that something is non-marital. This rule applies to both real and personal property.

For the most part, it doesn't matter whether title is in one spouse's name or both; the law assumes that an asset belongs equally to both spouses if it was acquired after the date the couple married.

There are, however, some important exceptions to this general rule. For instance, if Spouse A adds Spouse B's name to a deed to non-marital property, and Spouse B later proves in court that Spouse A had a "donative" intent (meaning, wanted to make a gift), there is a possibility that the property may be "transmuted" (changed) to marital property.

"Non-marital" property (also referred to as “separate" property) is everything that's not marital, and it belongs to only one spouse. The general rule is that separate property is not divided during a divorce, and it stays with the spouse that acquired it.

The most common type of non-marital property is something that was acquired before the marriage, for example, a valuable piece of jewelry or a car that one of the spouses owned outright prior to the marriage.

But there are other kinds of non-marital property under Missouri law, which have nothing to do with the date of purchase or acquisition. For example, if one spouse inherits something from a relative during the marriage, the inheritance is that spouse’s separate property. Or if a spouse receives a gift, even from the other spouse, that's also considered non-marital.

Separate property can also be identified prior to marriage. Spouses can write a prenuptial agreement before their marriage, which explicitly states what property is marital and what's separate. They will be bound to follow the terms of the agreement if they decide to divorce.

Finally, if spouses decide to legally separate (instead of divorce), all property they acquire after getting a separation decree is non-marital. This is different from the "date of separation" used for purposes of filing for divorce. When spouses split up and one files for divorce, the date they separated will be listed in the court papers. That date will be used to decide the value of assets, but everything acquired after filing for divorce is still assumed to be marital property up until the divorce is final.

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Family Lawyer: RayAnswers, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Missouri is an “equitable distribution” state, which means judges will divide marital property in a way they believe is equitable (fair), but not necessarily equal. A court doesn't have to give each spouse a 50% share of the marital assets. Spouse A could receive 65% of the marital property, and Spouse B only 35%, as long as the division is fair and reasonable.

In determining a fair division of property, courts must consider all of the following factors:

  • the spouses’ economic circumstances (meaning, how they're faring financially, and what their prospects are for future income based on their abilities to earn) at the time of the divorce
  • whether and how much each spouse contributed to the acquisition of the property
  • the value of either spouse’s non-marital property
  • the spouses’ behavior during the marriage (e.g., a spouse's property award may be reduced if he or she squandered marital assets), and
  • custodial arrangements for the minor children (if any).

Based on these factors, a court will issue a property settlement that it believes awards each spouse a fair share of the total marital property. The property settlement will apportion (assign) any marital debts as well. The debts are offset against assets in calculating the final property award.

Court has a lot of discretion here if you think she ran up debts might award them to her under equitable division.

Thanks for the follow up.

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