Florissant, MO asked in Family Law and Divorce for Missouri

Q: Can a divorce filing be thrown off docket if not pursued after 3 yrs. Are the initial court orders then dissolved?

My son's wife filed for divorce 3 yrs ago. He was ordered to pay for her lawyer $4000. He also had to get a lawyer for himself. The judged ordered him to pay his wife $1600/month, $800 for 2 kids and $800 for her, and make the payment on HIS house and he could not live there. He of course can't afford to get his own place now since he only brings in $3600 a month. She also works full time. After 3 yrs she seems happy with the money she is getting and will not pursue the divorce any further because she would have to pay out of her pocket for further representation. Seems like she really don't want to actually go through with a true divorce and he doesn't either. If the filing gets thrown off the docket for non-action are the court orders then null and void ? Can my son stop paying her and move back into HIS house ?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Missouri, if a divorce filing remains inactive for an extended period, it is possible for the court to dismiss the case for lack of prosecution. However, the dismissal of the case would not necessarily nullify the initial court orders, especially those related to child support, spousal support, and property arrangements.

Your son should not stop paying the court-ordered support, as these obligations typically remain in effect until they are modified by the court. Even if the divorce case is dismissed, the existing support orders still need to be followed unless modified through a legal process.

If your son wishes to make changes to the court orders, he should consider consulting with an attorney to request a modification based on changes in circumstances, such as his income or living situation. Moving back into his own house without following the proper legal process could lead to legal complications.

It's essential for your son to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Missouri to navigate his specific situation and explore options for modifying the court orders to better reflect his current circumstances.

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