Divorce Process: How to File for Divorce in Missouri
|Step 1||Determine eligibility for divorce in Missouri. Either you or your spouse must have lived in Missouri for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.|
|Step 2||Fill out the appropriate divorce papers. You can obtain these from the circuit clerk in the county where you or your spouse lives.|
|Step 3||File the divorce papers with the circuit clerk in the county where you or your spouse lives. You will need to pay a filing fee.|
|Step 4||Serve your spouse with the divorce papers. This can be done by a sheriff or private process server.|
|Step 5||Your spouse has 30 days to respond to the divorce papers. If they do not respond, you can proceed with a default judgment.|
|Step 6||If your spouse responds, you will need to attend mediation to attempt to reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, you will proceed to trial.|
|Step 7||At trial, a judge will hear arguments from both sides and make a decision on issues such as property division, child custody, and support.|
|Step 8||If the judge approves the divorce settlement or makes a decision at trial, the divorce will be final.|
Introduction to Divorce in Missouri
- Requirements for Filing: To file for divorce in Missouri, at least one spouse must be a resident of the state for 90 days before filing. The petitioning spouse (the one initiating the divorce) must also have “grounds” or reasons recognized by Missouri law that justify ending the marriage such as adultery or irreconcilable differences.
- Residency Requirements: As previously mentioned, at least one spouse must be a resident of Missouri for 90 days before filing. Additionally, if there are children involved in the divorce proceedings who are under 18 years old or still attending high school full time; they should have lived in Missouri with either parent (or a guardian/custodian) continuously for six months before starting any court action.
- The Types of Divorce Available: There are two main types of divorce available: contested and uncontested divorces. A contested divorce means that both spouses cannot agree on all issues related to their separation/divorce such as child custody arrangements or property division which require involvement from attorneys and sometimes judges. An uncontested divorce means both spouses agree on all terms related to their separation/divorce without needing legal intervention beyond paperwork preparation by an attorney.
In summary, if you’re planning to file a petition with your local courthouse seeking termination of your marriage through dissolution procedures within MO State jurisdictional limits then keep these things top-of-mind: you need grounds specified according to state law like no-fault reasons or adultery, one spouse must reside within Missouri for a minimum of 90 days, and there are two types available: contested and uncontested divorces. Understanding these basic concepts can help you move forward with your divorce process in Missouri.
What is divorce?
Divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage or marital union between two individuals. This means that the former spouses are no longer legally married and are free to remarry if they choose.
- No-Fault Divorce: In Missouri, it’s possible to file for divorce on “no-fault” grounds which essentially means neither party needs to prove any wrongdoing by the other spouse. Instead, you must simply state in your petition that there are irreconcilable differences within the marriage that have led to its breakdown beyond repair.
- Filing for Divorce: When filing for divorce, one spouse (the petitioner) must complete and submit certain documents including a petition or complaint, financial disclosure statement and summons. These documents notify the court of your intention to end your marriage and provide important information about your assets, debts, income and expenses.
The divorce process can be emotionally challenging as well as legally complex. It’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through each step of this difficult time while protecting your rights and interests throughout the proceedings. If you’re considering filing for divorce in Missouri or need help with any aspect of family law matters; contact an attorney today.
Grounds for divorce in Missouri
Missouri recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Fault grounds require one spouse to prove that the other is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, while no-fault grounds do not require proof of wrongdoing by either party.
- No-Fault Grounds: The most commonly cited no-fault ground for divorce in Missouri is “irreconcilable differences” which means that there are significant issues or problems within a marriage that cannot be resolved, leading to an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship between spouses. This type of ground does not place blame on any individual spouse and requires only a statement from one spouse indicating their belief that these differences exist.
- Fault Grounds: In Missouri, some common fault-based grounds for divorce include adultery, abandonment (for at least six months), imprisonment (for more than a year), abuse or cruelty towards a partner or children; habitual drunkenness or drug use; mental illness which leads to confinement in an institution for over two years.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in Missouri based on fault grounds, it’s important to understand what evidence may be required to support your claims. An experienced attorney can help guide you through this process and ensure that your rights are protected throughout your case.