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Posted: January 19, 2018

As an alternative to divorce, Missouri revised statutes set forth a procedure for legal separation, which is formerly referred to as “separate maintenance” in the state. Separate maintenance does not terminate the marriage, but instead issues orders that are similar to those involved in a divorce, such as property division, alimony, custody, visitation, and child support.

In Missouri, the grounds for legal separation are the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage that may also include adultery, separation caused by misconduct in the year prior to filing, abandonment, living apart and separate for two years, and spousal behavior that the other partner cannot reasonably be expected to live with. One of the spouses must live in Missouri for at least 90 days before filing.

The process starts when one spouse files a petition his or her county’s circuit court. The court enters a judgment of legal separation when it finds that the marriage is not irretrievably broken and there is a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.


Posted: December 28, 2017

Wills and trusts are common estate planning tools used to protect one’s assets and property after death. However, there are important differences between the two methods that you should consider before choosing one or the other. Our firm has a thorough knowledge of wills and trusts, and can discuss your options for protecting your estate.

Here’s what you need to know:

A will goes into effect after you die, and sets forth decisions regarding assets, property (held in the testator’s name alone), and guardianship of children. This means you are able to dictate how your financial matters will be handled after you die, as well as ensure your children are taken care of by the person you decide. However, wills generally must go through the probate process. This means they will become public record, and your family may have to go through a complicated legal process before receiving the proceeds of the will.

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