Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Missouri No Fault Divorce


According to Missouri no-fault divorce laws, one can be granted divorce on the basis of “no-fault grounds” where none of the spouses need to prove in the court of law that the other spouse had indulged in “wrongdoing”. If a spouse files the divorce stating that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” owing to “irreconcilable differences” or “incompatibility of temperament”, then the courts may award the divorce.

Choosing “no-fault grounds” or “fault” grounds

The grounds of divorce can be “no-fault’ or “fault” depending on the choice that a spouse wishes to choose. Many spouses wish to have “no-fault” grounds even if there is substantial “wrongdoing” on the part of the other spouse. It is because they wish to avoid the messy court battles trying to prove the “fault” of the other spouse. If there are children involved in the marriage, then it becomes doubly important for the spouse to avoid the child witness the battles in the court. Moreover, the procedure of divorce is quicker if both the spouses petition together on “no-fault” basis and is very economical.

However, you may wish to file the divorce on the basis of “fault-grounds”, if you are sure to have an edge over the other spouse on matters of child custody or property division owing to the other spouse’s “wrong doing”. Matters related to this can be best advised by your attorney who can give an idea on the length of time your case might take and also the expenses.

Residential requirements in MO no-fault divorce

Missouri no-fault divorce laws specify that at least one spouse must be a resident of the state of Missouri for a minimum period of 90 days prior to the date of filing for divorce.

Property division in MO no-fault divorce

Missouri is an “equitable property state” where courts decide to divide the property based on the financial needs of the spouses, tax consequences of the property, market value of the property etc. If the spouses are unable to reconcile on the issue of “property division”

“Outside the court”, then courts would make decisions on the “marital property” involved. This is the property which the spouses have earned during the course of the marriage. “Non-marital property” of either spouse would not be divided if the financial requirement of the spouse who has not “faulted” is secure with the division of “marital property”. Hence, courts would look into the mater of “wrongdoing” of a spouse if it affects the property matter between them.

Child custody in MO no-fault divorce

The matter of child custody is generally settled “outside the court” by the spouses in “no-fault divorce” cases. They would formulate a sound parenting plan with the help of a custody mediator who would guide them to draft a visitation schedule for the best interests of the child.

However, if the parents are unable to arrive at a custody decision, then the courts would award the child custody based on MO child custody guidelines. They keep the welfare, security and “best interests of the child” as the top most priority while awarding child custody decision.

In almost all the cases of divorce, courts consider all of them on the basis of “no-fault” grounds. It is only in matters of property division or child custody that the courts look into the “wrongdoing” of a spouse which might affect the child detrimentally. You may proceed with do-it-yourself divorce if your divorce case is “no-fault” one and is “uncontested”. Be sure to understand all the related divorce laws which can affect your case. In all other cases where there, it is better to seek the advices of a reputed attorney.


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