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How to Get a Divorce in Missouri and St. Louis

The emotional work of going through a divorce is rarely easy. Ending a marriage might be the right thing for you and your spouse. Unfortunately, the process often seems daunting for many individuals. The good news is that a divorce lawyer can show you how to get a divorce in Missouri with a straight forward process.

With the right attorney on your side, it could be possible to simplify the challenges of a divorce. From meeting Missouri residency requirements to navigating the court system, your attorney could do more than explain how to get a divorce in Missouri. Your legal counsel actively help with every aspect of your case from start to finish.

Legal Requirements for Divorce in Missouri

There are two major requirements that must be met in order for a divorce to move forward. While divorces are common in Missouri, the court will deny a request if these technical requirements are not met. These include residence requirements for at least one of the spouses seeking a divorce as well as appropriate grounds for the divorce.

Missouri Residency Requirements

There are certain residency requirements that must be met before a judge will even consider a petition for divorce in Missouri. These requirements are fairly limited and not difficult to meet in most cases. Only one of the spouses in the marriage is required to meet the residency requirements, and it does not have to be the spouse filing the divorce petition. Under the law, at least one spouse must be a resident of the State of Missouri for at least 90 days before filing the petition. State law also allows a divorce to proceed when a military member has been stationed in Missouri for at least 90 days, even if they legally reside elsewhere.

There is one other deadline that is important to consider after you have filed for divorce. Even if you meet all of the residency requirements and have otherwise satisfied all of the conditions for a divorce, the court does not have the power to grant your petition right away. Instead, there is a waiting period written into the law that prevents a divorce from concluding immediately after the petition is filed. Under the law, a court cannot grant a petition for divorce unless it has been at least 30 days since you filed the petition.

Grounds for Divorce in MN

In addition to the residency requirements, the filing spouse must also establish grounds for divorce. In some states—known as “fault” states—the filing spouse must show that the other party was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.

That is not the case in Missouri. Because Missouri is a “no-fault” state, you are under no obligation to prove to the court that your spouse caused the breakdown of the marriage. Typically, spouses filing for divorce cite irreconcilable differences that have led to a relationship that is irretrievably broken.

The Process of Filing for Divorce in St. Louis and MN

The process of filing for divorce in Missouri is similar to most lawsuits. The filing spouse must file their petition for divorce in the court located within the county where they or their spouse reside.

Once the petition is filed, it must be formally served on the other spouse. Service of process is typically handled by a sheriff’s deputy or a private process server. Once the other spouse is notified of the petition for divorce, they have a limited time to file an answer in response. In cases where the non-filing spouse is on board with the divorce, they might waive the need for formal service and even opt not to respond to the divorce petition. This could speed up the process in some situations.

Talk to Experienced Divorce Attorneys in St. Louis, MN

While the steps to get a divorce in Missouri might seem overwhelming at first, the right attorney could reduce that stress and guide you through the process. While you have the right to pursue a divorce on your own, doing so could result in frustrating delays and other complications.

The J. Rench Law Firm, LLC is ready to assist you throughout every phase of the divorce process. To learn how we could help, contact us right away for an initial consultation.


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