Missoula Divorce Lawyer
For many who file for divorce, it is something they are doing for the first time, so the process can be confusing and extremely stressful.
In Montana, after retaining a lawyer, you file a petition for dissolution and serve the party. The party has 21 days to respond, and if he or she does not, it is a default and that person may be prohibited from participating in the process and the filing party can solely determine the outcome of property and parenting issues. In all divorces, filing the petition is followed by an information gathering stage in which parties exchange disclosures of assets and debts and income and monthly expenses. They are required to disclose everything.
To complete a divorce, it is necessary to negotiate two documents if you have children:
- A marital and property settlement agreement that distributes marital assets and debts
- A parenting plan that includes a residential schedule for kids which says where they’ll live and when in addition to:
- Child support provisions
- Medical support
- How parties will claim kids for tax purposes
- General parenting provisions
In ideal circumstances, the parties will reach property and parenting agreements that are filed with the Court. Also, they can sign and file an affidavit requesting that the Court issue a decree of dissolution without a court hearing. Then, the judge signs the decree of dissolution that is provided by the attorney, and the case is conclude without going to court.
If parties cannot come to agreement on their own, then mediation is undertaken and a neutral third party will assist in reaching agreements on parenting and property distribution. If mediation does not work, the parties must proceed to a court hearing — by far the most expensive and time-consuming method for divorce.
Because of the complexity of the process and the benefit of timely reaching fair agreements, retaining a skilled lawyer is absolutely critical.
Montana Property Division Attorney
As your attorney, it is my goal to bring compassion and experience to help resolve your case as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. I approach every case as reasonably as possible and never set unrealistic expectations. As a single mother, I understand the stresses and expenses of family law issues firsthand and am ready to do everything I can to help you and your family transition in a way that preserves emotional and financial well-being for years to come.