Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

Wibbenmeyer Law Office

Q.   I am thinking about getting a divorce but I don’t know what I will need the first time I meet with my lawyer.

A.   The first time you meet with me there are no particular papers or information you have to bring. Generally, I treat the first appointment as an opportunity for me to get to know you and see exactly what you need help with.

Every client is different, and some need immediate action while others simply need information and a more thorough understanding of the process.

However, it is most helpful if the first time we meet that you and I have an opportunity to talk without any distractions. To that end, it would be best if you do not bring young children with you.

It is smart for you to have a general idea of the family finances. This would include a copy of your last three years of tax returns, information regarding all of the bank accounts of both you and your spouse, at least a general idea of the value of your major assets including real estate and automobiles.

If you are bringing papers in for me to review have them as organized as you can.

Q.   How long will my divorce take and what factors can influence how long it takes?

A.   As a general rule, most divorces are going to be resolved in anywhere from two months to nine months. Even the most straight-forward, non-adversarial divorce will take close to two months.

If the divorce is highly contested and a trial is necessary, your matter could take longer than nine months. Once we are about a month into your case I will give you a better idea of the time frame.

Q.   What can I do to keep the cost of my legal fees down?

A.   Believe it or not, you can greatly control some of the costs of your fees by taking a few simple steps:

  1. All of the papers you present to me should be organized. Scattered papers and receipts often make the job difficult, time consuming, and therefore expensive. It is smart to use your lawyer to give you sound legal advice and not to help you organize papers which you can do on your own.
  2. Use your lawyer as he or she is trained to do, to provide sound legal advice to you and help guide you along the way, not as a therapist. Think of me as an advisor, someone to consult with regarding legal matters, not otherwise to provide you with psychological or emotional counseling. Your time and money is better spent with someone else who is professionally trained in these areas.
  3. When you see your lawyer have your thoughts and questions written down and go through them one by one. This will help both you and your attorney stay on task and will be the most efficient way for your questions to be answered.

Q.   Does it really matter which lawyer I choose to handle my domestic matter?

A.   Absolutely it does, and let me explain to you why. The lawyer’s educational training in law school does not provide for the experience he or she needs to handle your case.

You need an attorney who has experience in your area of need, and that comes only with having handled similar types of cases many times before to learn the subtle areas of the law. This type of learning cannot be acquired in a year or two of practice. I have been in the St. Charles community since 1996 and I know the local community, and that is important.

Q.   I am considering modifying my current Judgment and I don’t know what I will need the first time I meet with my lawyer.

A.   The first time you meet with me, bring a copy of the original Judgment (of Dissolution of Marriage or of Paternity or of Custody and Support), along with a copy of the Settlement Agreement (if any) and the Parenting Plan.

Also have a very clear outline of the reasons for the modification, including proof to back up those reasons.

Q.   I am considering a paternity action or I have been served with a paternity suit and I don’t know what I will need the first time I meet with my lawyer.

A.   You need to act quickly and make an appointment with an attorney immediately. One of the factors the Judge will consider when awarding custody is the time that the child has spent with each parent from the date of birth forward. You need very little else when you first meet with your lawyer other than some basic information regarding your situation, your child’s, and the other parent. It would be helpful to bring along the child’s birth certificate and any papers you may have received from the State of Missouri regarding the setting of child support or other financial responsibilities pertaining to the child.

Q.   I just received an e-mail from the mother of my child and she wants to move with my child to another state. What do I do? I am afraid I won’t see my child again.

A.   You need to act, and you need to act fast. Before there are custodial orders in place it is much easier for one parent to move with the minor child across town or across the country. Once the Judge has signed the custodial papers it is much more difficult for one parent to move.

Contact Us

Contact Information

The Wibbenmeyer Law Firm

1049 First Capitol Drive
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
Tel: 636-724-3355
Fax: 636-724-2480

The Lead Counsel Advantage

Lead Counsel Rated Attorney
  • Professional Experience
  • Peer Recommended
  • Spotless Record