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Missouri Divorce Facts and Obtaining Legal Assistance

If you have been thinking about filing for divorce in Missouri, there are a few facts you should be aware of before getting started. The state imposes residency requirements prior to filing as well as requires specific, court-approved grounds for filing the dissolution of marriage. Below are some Missouri divorce laws that all spouses should know in order to protect their rights during proceedings.

Missouri Divorce Residency Requirements and Where to File

In order to file for a divorce in Missouri, either spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. The petition must be filed in the circuit court in the county where either party resides.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Missouri

A divorce in Missouri may be granted on the grounds that there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved, therefore rendering the marriage is irretrievably broken. If the defendant in the case denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, then the plaintiff (spouse filing for divorce) must prove one or more of the following:

• The defendant committed adultery
• The defendant has behaved in a manner that continuing the marriage would be intolerable
• The defendant abandoned the petitioner for at least six months prior to filing for divorce
• That the spouses have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for at least 12 months prior to filing
• That the spouses have lived separate and apart continuously for at least 24 months before filing

Mediation and Counseling Requirements

If the parties in the case have children, they may be ordered to undergo counseling prior to the divorce being granted. Additionally, the court may order the spouses to participate in mediation to resolve any disputes if custody is contested by one party of if evidence of domestic abuse is uncovered.

Seeking Legal Help with a Missouri Divorce Lawyer

There are many intricate details involved in filing for divorce in Missouri, but there is also help available to all couples. Anyone who has considered filing for divorce in the state has the right to seek help with an experienced Missouri divorce attorney to protect their rights and ensure the case runs as quickly and smoothly as possible.