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Borengasser Law Office, lawyers / attorneys in Lake St. Louis, St. Charles,
O'Fallon, Wentzville, Saint Peters, Missouri
The Choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. This website is intended to provide information about the legal services offered by the lawyers at Borengasser & Marler. Every case must be carefully evaluated based on its particular facts. If you are interested in speaking with one of our attorneys, please contact us and arrange for an initial consultation. At the initial consultation, you will meet with one of our attorneys and discuss the specifics of your situation. We will discuss your options and whether Borengasser & Marler is the right law firm to serve your legal needs.
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The divorce process often involves the unwinding of an economic partnership, the severing of a relationship once founded on love and commitment, and the prospect of losing time with one's children. Clients going through these painful events deserve patient, attentive, and competent legal help.
I am an experienced divorce lawyer with exceptional credentials. I will work hard to put you in the best position to negotiate a favorable settlement, or to successfully present a contested divorce, custody or child support case at trial. I accomplish this through extensive experience with (and knowledge about) divorce law, and scrupulous attention to the facts, legal issues, and your objectives and concerns.
Many of my clients live or work in O'Fallon, Wentzville, St. Peters, or Troy, because of the convenience of my office location near I-70 in Lake St. Louis. I represent clients in divorce cases in St. Charles County, Lincoln County, Warren County, St. Louis County, and Franklin County.
For a Missouri court to have authority to grant a divorce, either the wife or the husband must have lived in the State of Missouri for at least ninety days.
If both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then the court will grant the divorce. The vast majority of divorces in Missouri are granted on the ground that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
If one side denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then the party seeking the divorce must demonstrate specific reasons why the marriage should be dissolved, such as:
(a) that the responding spouse committed adultery
(b) that the responding spouse has behaved in such a way that the filing spouse cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her
(c) that the responding spouse abandoned the filing spouse for a period of six months
(d) that the parties have voluntarily separated, by mutual agreement, for a period of one year, or
(e) that more than two years have elapsed since the filing spouse left the responding spouse.
After a petition for divorce is filed with the court, the non-filing spouse must be formally "served" with a summons by a sheriff or process server. Following service of process, the non-filing spouse has 30 days to file a written answer to the petition. In every case - whether contested divorce or non-contested divorce - a minimum of 30 days must elapse before the court may grant a dissolution.
If the parties have children, each party must submit, either separately or, if they can come to an agreement, jointly, a proposed parenting plan. A parenting plan is a document that describes in detail how issues concerning the children (such as custody, visitation, holidays and vacations, transportation, child support, health insurance and medical expenses) will be addressed.
Court rules also require each parent to attend a parenting class. The purpose of the class is to make sure each parent is aware of the trauma children experience as a result of divorce, and to give parents tools to help ease their children's emotional pain.
If there are contested issues between the parties, there may be a period of discovery. Discovery is a general term that refers to the various tools a lawyer can use to make the opposing party and third parties answer questions under oath, or produce documents in their possession. A common use of discovery in divorce cases is to obtain complete financial disclosure if one spouse believes the other has hidden money or assets.
The vast majority of divorce cases are settled rather than decided by a judge. Settlement allows the parties to control the outcome of their case, and avoid the extra expense that necessarily accompanies a fully contested case. Even if a settlement is not ultimately reached, there will be some negotiations in virtually every case, and the parties may be required by the court to attempt mediation. Mediation is a settlement negotiation process where a neutral third party attempts to formulate a viable resolution of the case, and persuade the parties to agree to compromise.
In a typical case, a non-contested hearing or contested trial is held six months to a year after the case is filed. A marriage is only officially ended after a judge has heard evidence and signed a written decree of dissolution.
When awarding child custody and visitation, Missouri statutes require judges to rule, first and foremost, in "the best interests of the child." Unless it is clearly not in the child's best interests, a judge is required to create a custody arrangement that promotes "frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with both parents." The statutes further instruct judges to "consider all relevant factors including:
(1) The wishes of the child's parents as to custody and the proposed parenting plan submitted by both parties;
(2) The needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child;
(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
(4) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent;
(5) The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community;
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of any individuals involved. If the court finds that a pattern of domestic violence has occurred, and, if the court also finds that awarding custody to the abusive parent is in the best interest of the child, then the court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Custody and visitation rights shall be ordered in a manner that best protects the child and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm;
(7) The intention of either parent to relocate the principal residence of the child; and
(8) The wishes of a child as to the child's custodian.
Borengasser Law Office
1000 Edgewater Point, Suite 406
Lake St. Louis, Missouri 63367
Phone: (636) 625-0505
Toll Free: (888) 516-7412
Fax: (636) 265-1016
Mon - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Our attorneys have represented businesses and individuals from St. Louis, St. Charles, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, St. Peters, Warren County and Lincoln County in thousands of lawsuits including: