Filing for Divorce in Missouri
In order to file for divorce in Missouri, at least one of the parties must have been a resident of the state of Missouri for a minimum of 90 days. A divorce filing in Missouri begins with the Petition of Dissolution of Marriage. It must be filed in the Circuit Court of the county in which the person filing, the petitioner, resides.
The standard divorce petition does not require the petitioner to enter a specific reason for filing; it only asks two questions regarding the future of the marriage:
- Is there any reasonable likelihood that your marriage can be preserved?
- Is your marriage irretrievably broken?
If both parties state that the marriage is irretrievably broken or neither spouse denies it, the court can determine the marriage is irretrievably broken and enter an order of dissolution of marriage. However, if one spouse claims the marriage isn't broken, the process can be prolonged.
Factors of Irretrievably Broken Marriages
In the event that the court must determine whether a marriage is broken, and the divorce should be granted include, but are not limited to:
- That the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;
- That the respondent has abandoned the petitioner for a continuous period of at least six months preceding the presentation of the petition;
- That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;
- That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of twelve months immediately preceding the filing of the petition; or
- That the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least twenty-four months preceding the filing of the petition.
The petition for divorce must be on file for at least 30 days before the court can dissolve the marriage. The court may delay its decision for up to six months, after which it must readdress the matter at hand. During this period, the court may recommend the parties seek counseling.
How a Divorce Attorney Can Help
The choice of a divorce attorney is a critical one. If you want to file for divorce in Missouri, you’ll need an experienced attorney to make sure your rights are protected. The right attorney will be able to answer any of your questions, walk you through your options, and give you their professional input.
At James Piedimonte, P.C. understands that each divorce is unique. Attorney Piedimonte will listen closely and customize his representation to your best interests. Make your split as painless as possible, and contact divorce attorney James Piedimonte now.