Missouri Divorce Laws
When one or both parties in a marriage decide it is no longer working out, they may file a petition with the court to dissolve the marriage. This is commonly called divorce, and it often follows a period of legal separation. All states have their own laws and procedures for divorce proceedings, which may differ from one another in a few subtle ways (such as waiting periods and legal grounds for divorce).
In Missouri, legal requirements for divorce include residency in the state for at least 90 days (which is standard in a number of states). Also, as a no-fault state, there is no need to prove fault in order to be granted a divorce. However, the court may consider (but is not limited to) any of the following when deciding whether the marriage should be dissolved:
- Spouse committed adultery (and it is not an "open" relationship)
- One spouse is unable to tolerate the behavior of the other spouse
- Couple lived apart for at least 24 months (12 months if both parties agree) before divorce was filed
- You were abandoned by your spouse for six or more continuous months prior to the divorce filing
- One of the parties is involved in criminal activity
The divorce process includes the separation of property (as well as debts and other liabilities), the granting of spousal support, child custody, and child support. While hiring a divorce lawyer is recommend in Missouri and elsewhere, uncontested divorces often can be completed at home without a lawyer.
Some details about Missouri's divorce laws are listed below. See FindLaw's extensive Divorce section for more articles, sample forms, and state-specific information.
|Residency Requirements||Either party must be a resident for 90 days.|
|Waiting Period||Final when entered, subject to appeal. Court's order of distribution of marital property is not subject to modification.|
|'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce||Irretrievable breakdown. (Findings of fact to satisfy listed in §452.320 (2).)|
|Defenses to a Divorce Filing||Abolished by §452.310.|
|Other Grounds for Divorce||
It is not necessary to prove fault, only that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court decides that the marriage still has a chance at working, it will grant a legal separation.
If the defendant spouse denies the marriage is irretrievably broken, the plaintiff may choose to prove acts of adultery, abuse, or other factors that would help the court make a proper decision on the matter.
Research the Law
- Missouri Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Missouri Divorce Laws: Related Resources
- Understanding the Divorce Process
- Missouri Child Custody Laws
- Missouri Marital Property Laws
- Find a Divorce Attorney
Get a Free Divorce Case Evaluation From a Missouri Attorney
If you're getting divorced, you will undoubtedly have a lot on your plate, especially if there are child custody matters to resolve. A divorce attorney will work hard to protect your interests and ensure the best outcome possible. Have a Missouri attorney evaluate your divorce case for free.