Family Law & Divorce Lawyers in Joplin

Buchanan Williams & O'Brien

Dedicated Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Joplin

We handle all types of family law disputes for our clients, including divorces, child custody disputes, child support modifications, maintenance modifications, adoptions, and many, many others. These disputes can cause tremendous stress because they involve the thing most important to you – your family.

We help you through these difficult times. We make the process understandable and manageable. We have the expertise to guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you accomplish your goals.

Affordable, Experienced, and Effective

Please Note: There is a small fee for consultations due at the time of your appointment.


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Trusted and experienced family law and divorce attorneys in Joplin, Missouri. 

Please Note: There is a small fee for consultations due at the time of your appointment. (we don’t charge consultation for traffic and criminal issues)

With Buchanan, Williams, and O’Brien, you gain the value of having a real team behind you. For over 35 years, BWO has been providing consistent legal advocacy in Joplin, Missouri. Our team is collaborative, which means you get the advantage of decades of proven legal experience standing behind your case.

Get a Top Family Lawyer in Joplin, Missouri (MO) 

Walter Williams is a founding member of BWO and one of the leading attorneys in the State of Missouri on family law issues and estate/trust litigation matters. Walt is one of four family law attorneys who has handled hundreds of cases and is willing and able to help you.

All of the family attorneys at Buchanan, Williams, and O’Brien are individually accomplished attorneys who can provide top-level legal advocacy in your family law matter. Take a moment to review the family attorneys on the team at BWO and we’re confident that you will rest assured that you’ve found a good fit.

Call 417-623-0900 or toll-free at 800-371-8220. You can also email us anytime at:

Details for a Divorce in Joplin

DivorceTrusted Attorneys for Divorce in Joplin, Missouri

The legal term for a divorce is “dissolution” because the “bonds of matrimony” are dissolved. The process of dissolving the “bonds of matrimony” can cause many personal, family, and financial hardships.

It’s not necessary to determine that either party is at fault to get a divorce. But, the Joplin MO court has to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order to grant a divorce. If that doesn’t occur, the court will grant a legal separation.

You don’t have to retain a divorce lawyer to obtain your divorce. However, anyone representing themselves will be expected to know all the laws, rules, and procedures as any other divorce lawyer. In addition, if you have children or significant assets, consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer is also strongly recommended.

Although marital fault will not be considered in getting a divorce at Joplin MO courts, it can be taken into consideration when deciding about other legal matters, such as division of marital property, as well as alimony or maintenance.

Divorce can involve many complex issues, such as child custody, child support, maintenance (alimony), and the division of marital property. These issues can have a profound impact on your life going forward.

If you are considering divorce, you undoubtedly have many questions about the process, your rights, and the impact on your family and your finances. Below, we answer some of the most common questions asked by people going through a divorce.

Need Help with Child Custody or Paternity in Joplin?

CustodyChild Custody & Paternity Lawyers in Joplin, MO

Parents involved in a divorce want to ensure that they will remain an influential and positive role in their children’s lives going forward. As a result, the most important, hotly contested, and emotionally charged part of a divorce often involves child custody and visitation issues.

Child custody is divided into specific categories under Missouri laws. It is important to know that all issues regarding child custody have to comply with these laws and conditions.

If you have children, you should have a family law and divorce attorney assist you with your Joplin divorce.

The rules and considerations for child custody are complex.

Generally, Missouri law has acknowledged that “frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with both parents after the parties have separated or dissolved their marriage is in the best interest of the children.”

However, when it comes to child custody issues, the Joplin MO court has to decide if one parent or both parents will have the right to make important decisions regarding the education, health, and welfare of the child or children. These decisions refer to legal custody. In addition, the Joplin, MO, court also has to decide in what way will the parents share the physical time with their child or children. These decisions refer to physical custody.

When all decisions are taken into consideration, child custody is divided into different categories, so parents can have joint custody, one parent can have sole custody, or a third party can have visitation or custody rights.

Child custody court decisions can be changed, but there has to be a continuing and important change in the child’s custodian circumstances. It also has to be shown that a child custody modification will serve the best interest of the child.

If you have children and are considering divorce, you undoubtedly have questions about the process and your rights. Reach out to skilled family law lawyers, like the ones you can find at the BWO law firm.

Get Help with Child Support in Joplin

Top Joplin Child Support Attorneys

When you and your spouse are going through a divorce, the well-being of your child or children should be the most important issue. You are not just spouses, you are also parents; that means you and your former partner have to make reasonable decisions regarding child custody and support.

Child support is a payment that one parent makes to the other parent after a divorce or separation, which is intended to cover the expenses of raising their children or a child. Regardless, child support is a critical issue in divorce cases. Although Missouri courts use a Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations to determine support payments, the whole process can be complex.

The determination of child support impacts the ability of the parents to provide shelter, clothing, education, health care, and other necessities for their children. Child support can also cause serious financial hardship to the paying parent, particularly when the parent is paying more than his or her fair share of the support obligation.

There are numerous benefits of reaching out to Joplin MO family law lawyers at BWO. They have done it all before and can make these procedures go as smoothly as possible.

  • We assist clients in evaluating child support issues.
  • We represent custodial parents who are not receiving their fair share of child support, as well as non-custodial parents who are paying more than their fair share of child support.

If you have children and are considering divorce, you undoubtedly have questions about the process and your rights. Our Joplin MO family law & divorce lawyers can help.

Affordable, Experienced, and Effective

Please Note: There is a small fee for consultations due at the time of your appointment.


Email Us


Maintenance/Alimony in Joplin 

Joplin, Missouri Alimony Lawyers

Family law can be the most stressful because the stakes are so high. Additionally, the law can change at a moment’s notice. Finding a team that is dedicated to the practice area ensures that you get the most comprehensive and up-to-date legal analysis.

Our team of Joplin, MO, family law & divorce attorneys has decades of experience working through complicated alimony situations and delivering the results our clients deserve. No matter where you are in the process, and even if you’ve been let down by other law firms – we’re here to help.

Call our Joplin MO law office today and start planning for your future.

In Missouri, what used to be called “alimony” is now called “maintenance”. The determination of whether maintenance should be paid, and, if so, how much and for how long, involve complex issues. There is a threshold test that you must meet to receive maintenance. That test is:

  • Do you lack sufficient property, including marital property given to you in the dissolution, to provide for your needs?
  • Are you unable to support yourself through a job, or are you the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate for you not to work?
  • If you pass both of the above tests, then the court considers ten factors in deciding the amount of maintenance.
  • Financial resources of the person asking for maintenance.
  • The time needed to “retrain” the person seeking maintenance.
  • The relative earning power of each person.
  • Standard of living during the marriage.
  • Debts and assets each person received in the dissolution.
  • Length of the marriage.
  • Age, physical and emotional condition of each person.
  • The basic living expenses of the person who would pay the maintenance.
  • Conduct of the parties during the marriage.
  • Other relevant factors such as sacrifices one party may have made to send the other spouse to school.

The length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the relative earning the power of each spouse are often the most important maintenance factors. If the parties had a long marriage, one spouse has a substantial income, the parties enjoyed a high standard of living during the marriage, and the other spouse was not employed during the marriage, but stayed at home and maintained the household, the employed spouse will likely be obligated to pay maintenance.

Dividing Marital Property in Joplin

Marital PropertyDividing Marital Property in Missouri

The division of property will determine both the dollar value of the assets you receive from the divorce, as well as the specific items of personal and real property you retain. The dollar value of the property you receive is critical to your ability to financially move forward from the divorce.

You will also want to receive assets that leave you financially capable of providing for your children and enjoying vacations and other recreational activities. You may also have particular items of property that are meaningful to you that you want to retain following the divorce. All of these issues must be clearly addressed in the division of property. The division of property involves many complex valuation and tax issues.

If you have substantial assets, or if you own a business or other income generating assets that involve complex valuation issues, you should contact an experienced family law lawyer. Most people considering divorce have questions about the process and their rights. Let our Joplin MO family law & divorce lawyers help.

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