Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Missouri Divorce Rights


All the fifty states in the United States of America have their own exclusive divorce laws and the rights for their citizens. Some of the rights are similar are the same in almost all the states such as the residency requirements. The period of the residency however is different in all the states. According to section 452.240 of the revised Missouri Statutes, a spouse has to be a resident of the state for a period of ninety days before filing the case. The case for the dissolution of the marriage could be filed in any of the circuit counties of the states where either of the parties resides.

Missouri divorce laws consider some of the grounds as legal in order to file a divorce case. Dissolution of marriage is considered to be inevitable when it is learnt that there is no likelihood of continuing the marital relationship in either of the spouses. These are the cases where the marriage is considered to have been broken down irretrievably.

Plaintiff is termed as a person who initiates and files the case of divorce. Defendant, on the other hand is the person who does not initiate the case but in fact receives the notice from the court. In cases where the defendant is reluctant in accepting the fact that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, the impetus lies on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant has committed adultery, has behaved irresponsibly during the marriage period, and has been living separately for a period of 6 months.

While deciding on a divorce case, the court can conclude the dissolution of the marriage and grant a legal separation. In a case of legal separation, the court decides as to whom the custody of the child has to be given and the terms of the maintenance of either of the spouses. In cases where both the parties reach a mutual agreement as to how the distribution of the property is to be done, court can support the agreement. Same applies in cases where a minor child is involved and both the parties reach to an agreement regarding the custody of the child and the child support.

In cases where the parties are not in a position to derive conclusion from the agreement, the court can order a counseling program for the child. In such cases, the court can order the parties to take part in a mediation program wherein all the issues of the spousal support and child support would be discussed. The court also tries to educate the parties of the ill effects of the divorce on the child.

Missouri is the state which follows the principle of the equitable distribution of the property. Hence the property is divided between the spouses in a fair and just manner. Financial condition of the spouses, their prospective employment chances, educational background, vocational skills, contribution of the spouse in the acquisition of the property during the marriage are some of the factors which are considered by the court while deciding on the issue of property distribution. Based on section 527 of the revised statutes of Missouri, the court can also allow the wife to resume her maiden name after the conclusion of the divorce.


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