Frequently Asked Questions

Advice from Our St. Louis County Family Law Attorneys

When you are facing a divorce or family law issue, it is important that you have the guidance you need on your side, even when emotions run high. At Coulter Lambson, we are dedicated to ensuring that you know your legal options so you can protect your family and your best interests.

Read answers to some frequently asked questions below or call to schedule your free, one hour consultation with a licensed St. Louis County family law lawyer.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’VE BEEN SERVED WITH DIVORCE PAPERS?

After you’ve been served, it is important that you respond promptly. If you ignore the summons or if you do not respond in time, you can face consequences that include loss of spousal support or child custody or an imbalance in property division matters. Protect your best interests and contact a family law attorney immediately.

WHAT AM I REQUIRED TO PROVIDE BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE?

Before filing a divorce petition, you will be required under Missouri state law to provide your spouse with an accurate statement of your income and debts, an accounting of your property, and a number of other documents required by the court. Gathering this information is often complicated and all documents must be filed with the court in accordance with strict time limits.

WHO WILL GET CUSTODY OF MY CHILDREN?

The state of Missouri looks at a number of factors when deciding on child custody arrangements. This includes the needs and wishes of the child or children, both parents’ willingness to cooperate, the child’s relationship with parents, siblings, and other family members, the health of both parents, the financial resources of both parents, and any adjustments that the child will have to make with the custody arrangement. The custodial parent may also be entitled to child support to help your children adjust to their post-divorce life.

CAN I RECEIVE ALIMONY?

Alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is awarded to a spouse to help them get back on their feet financially after a divorce. This award is based on the length of the marriage, the standard of living each spouse was accustomed to during the marriage, the financial resources, debts, and earning capacity of each spouse, and any instance of bad behavior, such as domestic abuse or negligence, that occurred during the marriage.

MY SITUATION HAS CHANGED, CAN I AMEND THE TERMS OF MY DIVORCE AGREEMENT?

When you are considering a move, if you’ve lost your job, if you’ve gotten remarried, or if you are facing another major life change, you may petition to court to have the terms of your divorce agreement modified. This can include revising the terms of your custody arrangements, modifying the terms of your spousal or child support payments, denying parental visitation because of abuse, or determining who is responsible for certain financial obligations in your child’s life.