Getting A Pro Se Divorce In Missouri

DaddyEvilStarred Page By DaddyEvil, 20th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Divorce

Would you like to still be able to eat after you get a divorce? If you live in Missouri, this article could enable you to do that.

This tutorial is written for the common man. It walks you through the process of getting your divorce.

1. Finding Your Court Forms

If both husband and wife can agree on division of marital goods and there have been no children born of the marriage, then in most states, you can get a divorce without benefit of an attorney. Without the usually suffocating fees charged simply to correct an error in judgement suffered by both husband and wife. (You will be called the Pro Se Litigants.)

Both parties would need to go online to the CAFC website. (This is the Committee on Access to Family Courts. Information regarding mandatory Litigant Awareness Program, limited scope representation plus other topics you may need to study can be found there. (This means more information about going into court with out an attorney, the things you are allowed to do/say in court will be there, as well as other topics you will need to know.)

On the website, you would look for Dissolution of Marriage Forms Package (Divorce). These documents must be filled out in order to file for a no-contest divorce in your state. Once you have located the online templates for the documents you must file, you would print those documents out on your home printer. (You WILL need to contact your local Family Court Clerk to make sure all the forms you need are in the packet.)

Fill all the documents out, being careful that everything is correct in every case. (This IS a legal document, after all! If YOU make a mistake on this, YOU will be the person who will be forced to live with that mistake!)

2. Filing Your Petition

Once you have finished filling out the documents, take them to your local Family Court. You will need to file the documents with the court clerk. (The court clerk is not allowed to give you any legal advice. So don't ask! S/he IS allowed to look your documents over to see if there are any glaring mistakes. If s/he finds one, for goodness sake, FIX the mistake before asking him/her to file the documents!)

After you have filed your petition asking the Family Court Judge for a dissolution of your marriage, you go back home and wait for the judge/court clerk's notification of your day and time of your court date.

(Try not to antagonize each other while you wait for the court to dissolve your matrimonial bond, unless you prefer to give half or more of your current worth to an attorney when one of you gets mad enough to hire one!)

3. Appearing Before The Judge

When it is your day before the judge, make sure you are a little early for court. (If something else is being judged in the courtroom where you are supposed to see the judge, you may not be allowed to enter the room until it is actually time for your hearing. There are always seats in the hall for this very reason. Please, sit quietly and be patient.) The judge may wish to speak with one or both of you before court actually begins.

(An aside for the first time court patron.) This SHOULD be understood without me writing it out for everyone, but I have discovered that not everyone DOES understand proper court etiquette! (You do NOT need to buy new clothing for court, UNLESS you do not have, at minimum:

1. A tee shirt without any holes, stains or words/pictures on it. NO half shirts! (Remember, this is the very LEAST you should consider wearing before a judge in his court of law!) Better yet would be if you were to wear a nicer (read dressier) pull over shirt displaying no holes, no stains, no words/pictures. Best yet, wear a button-up dress shirt with no holes in it, no stains and displaying no words/pictures on it.

2. A newer, less faded pair of jeans. NO shorts! Your jeans should not have any holes, stains or words/pictures on them. Better than jeans would be a nice pair of slacks with no holes, no stains and no words/pictures on them.

3. A decent looking pair of tennis shoes with no holes, no stains and should not have any pictures/words displayed on them. NO bare feet! You may wear either slip on shoes with matching socks, or tie up shoes with matching socks. Your shoes must not have any holes in them, no stains and should not have any words/pictures on them.

If your scheduled session in court does not start immediately, please sit quietly and wait.

When the judge is ready, he will signal the court bailiff, who will announce the judge and ask everyone in the courtroom to stand. After you stand, the judge will take his seat and tell everyone else that they may also take their seats, at that time. (Do NOT remain seated when the bailiff orders everyone to rise. Do NOT take your seat again until the judge gives his permission for you to do so. Doing either of these could garner the judge's disfavor as well as a fine for contempt of court. Either action is considered showing disrespect to the judge and the courtroom.)

The judge will read over your submitted petition for dissolution of marriage which you filed with his/her court clerk. (You should remain sitting quietly until s/he has finished reading the petition.) After reading the petition, s/he will usually begin by asking the woman any questions the judge feels are pertinent to the case at hand. After speaking with the woman, the judge will speak with the man. The judge is seeking to clarify any questions/thoughts in his/her mind about your case before making his/her final decision/judgement.

As long as both parties in the divorce are still in agreement over the way they have ask for the marital chattel is to be divided (and the judge is satisfied that neither party are being coerced into the agreement) the judge can either let the division decided between the divorcing couple stand, as is or (if the judge thinks things look TOO one sided) question either or both parties about the reasoning behind the division of the marital property. (This is something I have seen some judges do while other judges just let anything stand as long as it gets the people out of his/her court faster! It is simply up to the judge and the whim of the moment, as far as I could discern.)

When the judge is satisfied with the answers s/he has gotten from the petitioners, he will adjourn court. The bailiff will order everyone to stand again, as the judge rises and leaves the courtroom. Then, you are free to gather whatever you brought with you for court and leave also.

4. After Court

Sometime within the next 90 to 120 days (usually) each party in the divorce/settlement will receive their documents from the court spelling out what the court/judge decided/ordered. If anything other than the dissolution and settlement as requested was decided, it will be spelled out in those documents.

If either party is dissatisfied with the judgement entered by the judge, s/he will need to go to the online court again, search for and print out the petition that must be filed in order to seek to overturn a judges ruling, or part of his/her ruling.


1. The website Representing Yourself In Missouri Family Court
Represent Yourself
Website is maintained by the Missouri Bar Association

The images labeled Legal are mine.
I own the copyright.


Dissolution Of Marriage, Dissolution Packet, Divorce, Divorce And Your Ex, Divorced, Divorces, Do It Yourself Divorce, Legal, Missouri Courts, Missouri Legal, No Attorney Divorce, No-Fault Consensual Divorce, Pro Se Divorce

Meet the author

author avatar DaddyEvil
I am a single father.
I am the next to the youngest out of a family of 16 kids.
I write stories about funny things I see or do as well as telling stories from my past. I also write serious articles

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
20th Mar 2014 (#)

Pretty sad that you have to explain the basics of decent appearance for court. Why would anyone want to look like a slob when trying to gain favor from a judge? And yet...

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author avatar DaddyEvil
21st Mar 2014 (#)

I spent over nine years monitoring courtroom litigation in seven different states, Mark.
You would NOT believe what some people will wear when they are going into court! (Several times, in several states, I saw women come in wearing their bedroom slippers and curlers still in their hair! They brought their kids in filthy... Just some really nasty people in this world!)
I honestly don't think they really cared what the judge might think about their attire!

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author avatar Funom Makama
20th Mar 2014 (#)

Well done daddyevil... I am not really a fan of divorce, but there are situations though, that divorce is the best option. I hope never to be in such situations

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author avatar DaddyEvil
21st Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you, Funom!
In some cases, it is the ONLY thing to do...
I wish I could have missed out on being divorced, but they really are for the best for some people... (Apparently, I am not able to pick someone who is right for me. But , I won't ever do it again! Twice was two times too many!
I hope you never end up in that kind of situation, too, Buddy!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Mar 2014 (#)

A very thorough yet an easy to understand presentation. Ones attire is extremely important and even something a lawyer will go over with their clients so it was definitely n order here.

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author avatar DaddyEvil
21st Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you very much, sir! There are a LOT of places on the internet that talk about Pro Se Divorce, but it is all said way over the heads of most people.
I thought I could translate it and make sure Joe Blow down the street could understand what I meant.
(Read the comment I left for Mark above this one... )
People are really crazy in this world... !

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author avatar Jerry Walch
21st Mar 2014 (#)

Right you are, DE. I took several Paralegal courses over forty years ago. Interesting stuff but I would never want to pursue it as a career.
I did read both Mark's comments and comments to Mark's comments. I added you to my follow list so I could keep up with what you write.

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13th Dec 2015 (#)

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