If there is a status conference for an uncontested divorce and it was filed entered pro se, what is this and will I need a lawyer?

I filed all the paperwork for the uncontested divorce in December. We haven’t lived together for almost a year and shared no property/finances/children. What is the purpose of this status conference and do I need to have a lawyer? The notice makes it sound like if I don’t have counsel ‘Unless specifically excused in

advance by the Court, all litigants shall appear in person and by counsel’, the case could be dismissed even though the initial filing was pro se and there was nothing previously requiring a lawyer for this process. The purpose was just to file, not spend more than the fees for filing, and be done with it. Can someone please

tell me what this means?

Asked on April 10, 2017 under Family Law, Missouri


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Ok don't panic.  A status conference is just a term the court uses to get everyone together to see what is presently going on in the case. The reference to "in person and by counsel" is to let the parties know that even if they have an attorney it does not excuse them from appearance.  That is a general requirement everywhere. Go and let the court know where things stand: was you spouse served with the paperwork?  Do you have an affidavit of service? Did you spouse file the proper affidavit consenting?  The court will let you know what you need to move forward.  Good luck.

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