Getting a divorce in St. Louis
Two different family courts: one for City of St. Louis, another for St. Louis County
For an overview of state statutes covering divorce (referred to as dissolution of marriage in Missouri), please see "Divorce in Missouri," which covers the role of an attorney, benefits of professional counseling, residency requirements, grounds for divorce and various court resources. It also discusses the urgent need to resolve domestic violence issues and provides several links for agencies and facilities to help with domestic violence.
Local help with domestic violence
City of St. Louis
- Metropolitan Police Department, Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART);
- Alive's shelter list;
- Lydia's House.
St. Louis County
- County Court, Domestic Violence Court;
- Domestic and Family Violence Council;
- Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments (ALIVE);
- Life Source Consultants.
For residents of the St. Louis area, the first order of business is determining which court will handle your divorce action; of course, if you hire a divorce attorney, he or she will determine this very quickly.
The City of St. Louis is not a governmental entity within the County of St. Louis; accordingly the city has its own court system, in this case the 22nd Judicial Circuit Courts, which in turn includes a Family Court comprising three divisions, each with its own judge: Divisions 14, 15 and 30.
Filings go through the Circuit Clerk's office, which also provides a link to local rules; Section 68 (beginning on page 67 of the .pdf document) addresses Dissolution of Marriage in great detail, including:
Filing Requirements, which also addresses--
- child custody cases
- Parenting Plans
- filing of financial statements (property and inc0me/expense)
- sanctions for failure to send or dliver
- reports and records
- service, default hearings and conferences
- child custody education
- Ex Parte requests (which includes orders for spouses who might attempt to hide assets)
- Pendente Lite orders
- entry of judgment upon affadavit
- discovery schedule
- production of documents
- offer of judgment
- retroactive child support
- court-appointed experts
- notice for motions to modify
- enforcement of visitation
- pleadings for time extensions
- pre-trial motions, compelling discovery
- case-management plan, and
- supervised visitation and safe-custody exchanges
The local rules also include numerous templates of the types of orders that may be issued by the court, according to each specific example.
St. Louis County Circuit Court
For county residents who live beyond the city limits of St. Louis proper, the St. Louis County Circuit Court prevails; it, too, has its own Family Court, which publishes "Guide to the Family Court" and "Guidelines for Parenting Coordination."
The Circuit Court's FAQ addresses a variety of topics, including its own Local Rules, which (like the 22nd district) also address Dissolution of Marriage beginning at Section 68.
Family Court of St. Louis County
501 South Brentwood (Family Court Center) and
7900 Carondelet (Courts Building) Clayton, MO 63105
General Information Telephone Number: 314-615-4400
Fax Telephone Number: 314-615-4477
TTY Telephone Number: 314-615-5889
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
No matter your marital situation, we can help. If you're ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.