Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Missouri Divorce Court


Divorce is the final termination of a marital union. But you cannot just cut-off your previous life. During this painful process, ones feelings are in upheaval. Apart from that, there are lots of legal matters that have to be taken care of. It is important to file a petition for ending of marriage in Missouri divorce court.

Filing Requirements

To file a divorce in Missouri Divorce court, either party needs to be a resident of the state for at least 90 days before filing. The divorce petition shall be filed in the circuit court in the county where either party lives.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

Ending of marriage may be awarded on the grounds that there is no likelihood that the marriage can be saved and thus, the marriage is permanently broken. If the defendant denies that the marriage is permanently broken, the applicant must prove one or more of the following:

  • Adultery
  • Behavior of the defendant in such a way that continuing the marriage would be not supportable.
  • Abandonment of the petitioner for at least six months before filing the petition.
  • Separation by mutual consent for at least 12 months before filing
  • Both parties have lived separate and apart for a constant period of at least 24 months before filing.

It is possible that Missouri divorce court orders the parties to participate in mediation to solve issues in quarrel. Meditation is not suggested in the cases of uncontested custody or if there is a case of family abuse.

Property Distribution

Property distribution is based on the following grounds:

  • The economic conditions of each spouse
  • Role of each spouse in gaining the marital property
  • The worth of the non-marital property set apart for each spouse
  • The behavior of the spouses during the marriage
  • Custodial agreements for minor children
  • Property acquired by gift, bequest, or descent or property acquired after a decree of legal separation is considered separate property. Child Custody

If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues of the children, Missouri divorce court will set up the custody order at its caution. The court will consider all related factors including:

  • The wishes of the parents concerning custody
  • Ability and wishes of parents to be actively involved in meeting the needs of the child.
  • The relation of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may affect the child's best interests.
  • Which parent is more likely to allow the child regular and meaningful contact with the other parent.
  • Child’s adjustment to the his/her home and society
  • If there is any history of abuse of any individuals involved
  • The purpose of either parent to move the main residence of the child
  • The wishes of a child as to the child's custodial parent

Divorce court systems and basic statutes represent complicated legal matters in Missouri. The Missouri Bar Association keeps a directory of lawyers who practice in the area of family law and divorce in different locations across the state. Make sure that you get a capable and experienced lawyer to protect your rights and interests.


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