Each state has its own set of divorce laws enacted to provide uniformity
and clarity about how and when to file for and obtain a divorce. In Missouri,
divorce is also known as dissolution of marriage. The
Missouri Domestic Relations Act governs marriage and divorce procedures within the state. The party that
files for divorce is known as the petitioner and the other party is referred
to as the respondent. The first step towards filing for divorce is satisfying
state residency requirements. To be eligible to file for divorce in Missouri
at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least
90 days immediately prior to the filing. This also includes military personnel
that have been stationed within the state for at least 90 days.
If residency requirements are satisfied, the court will grant a divorce
based on one of a number of different grounds. The most common reason
for dissolution is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, also known
as irreconcilable differences. This ground is based on a lack of any reasonable
likelihood of reconciliation. If both parties agree that the marriage
is irretrievably broken or if one party alleges so and that other fails
to deny it, the
divorce is granted once 30 days have elapsed since the date the petition was filed.
If one party contests the divorce and does not acquiesce to an irretrievable
breakdown, the court may still order dissolution if:
- There is evidence of adultery;
- Living conditions are intolerable and unreasonable to a spouse;
- Abandonment for at least 6 months; or
- Separate living arrangements, apart from each other, for at least 12 months
by mutual consent, or at least 24 months without mutual consent.
Once the court finds appropriate grounds with which to justify dissolution
and all provisions for equitable
child support or custody (if applicable) are executed, a final decree of divorce is entered.
Divorce is one of the most common legal issues that many couples face and
it is important to understand your options as well as the potential ramifications,
both financial and personal, of dissolution. You need an experienced
Missouri divorce attorney on your side to protect your best interests and place you in the best
possible position for a successful new future. To discuss your options,
turn to the respected Missouri family law attorney at Troy J. Leavitt
Law Firm, LLC. Attorney Leavitt has a proven track record of achieving
successful results for clients. Call 816-228-6000 or
contact us online. Representing clients in Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lee’s Summit,
Oak Grove, Independence and Kansas City, Missouri.