Representing Yourself Home

This website is designed to provide information and resources for those involved in family law matters in the state of Missouri. The information, tools and resources available are not intended to take the place of legal advice and there is no guarantee that using the information and/or resources will get the results you want.

If you plan to represent yourself in court in a family law matter (divorce, modification of child custody or child support, or paternity), you are required to complete the following two step Litigant Awareness Program, and file your certificate with the court. The program will help you understand the Missouri court system and the type of case that interests you. You also will learn about the dangers and duties of representing yourself in court. The program may be helpful for other types of cases as well.

Litigant Awareness Program

Step 1: Click the play button below to watch the education program video. (Or read the written materials here.)

Step 2: Click one of the options below to learn about your type of family law matter. When you have finished, print the Certificate of Completion at the end of the page to file a copy with the court.

Should I represent myself or should I get a lawyer? The following information can help you decide if you should represent yourself in court or work with a lawyer.

You can ask a lawyer to help you with part of your case. This is called "limited scope representation." You and your lawyer decide what each of you will do to handle your case. A lawyer who agrees to help you with part of your case may charge a fixed fee or charge by the hour. Some things a lawyer may do as part of your case include talk with you about your legal rights, review paperwork, draft legal forms or appear in court with you. A free lawyer may be available in some cases.

Can court staff assist me with my case? Court staff are happy to help you if they can. However, court staff are allowed to help you only in certain ways because they must be fair to everyone. It's best to learn what court staff can and cannot do for you BEFORE you ask for help.

 Approved Court Forms
Standard, statewide forms are required for use by anyone who participates in a family law case without being represented by a lawyer. Forms that have been developed are listed below. If you do not find the form you need, no approved form has been created.

Divorce or Separation

Families & Children

Name Change
Adult Abuse/Stalking

Additional Resources

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