If you are looking to file for divorce in the state of Missouri, there are a number of steps you have to go through. Below, we’ll cover how to file for divorce in Missouri so you know what to expect.
Getting a divorce is no easy task. And, to make it more difficult, there is no uniform process that governs the process in the United States.
The reason for that is that there are no federal laws in the U.S. regarding the process of divorce. This means that divorce laws are handled on a state-by-state basis.
Some divorces are more difficult in other states. But what about in the state of Missouri?
Here is an overview of the process for filing for divorce in Missouri. As always, we highly recommend using a divorce attorney to help you navigate the process and have someone looking out for your best interests.
How To File For Divorce In Missouri
Meet The Residency Requirements
Before you can file for a divorce in Missouri, the first thing you need is to meet the residency requirements in the state. The residency requirement in Missouri to be able to file for a divorce is that one of the spouses must be a resident of the county for three months where they will file for the divorce.
Preparing Your Forms
The second requirement is to prepare the forms that the state requires. The first form to complete is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage form.
Depending on the county where you or your spouse live, you may need additional forms.
There must be a legal ground for a divorce. You can file for a divorce on the following fault grounds:
- Separate living without reconciling for at least 1 year but both you and your spouse agreed to this term
- Separate living without reconciling for at least 2 years but only one of you or your spouse agreed to this term and one of you is not aware of it
- Intentional Desertion of at least 6 months uninterrupted
- Your spouse has behaved in which there is no way you can reasonably live with them
Missouri is also a no-fault divorce state. A no-fault divorce can be filed by stating that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Filing For A Divorce
You will file for the divorce in the county’s courthouse where one of the spouses resides. After filing for your forms, you are required to pay a court fee.
The average filing fee in Missouri is $133.50 if there are no minor children involved and $233.50 if there are minor children involved. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may ask for a fee waiver.
If you are the supposed defendant and your spouse filed a divorce against you, you need to respond as quickly as you can. Otherwise, your spouse can get a default/uncontested divorce.
Serving Your Forms
There are three ways in which you can serve your spouse the divorce complaint. These three ways are:
- Sheriff deputy
- Private process service
- You can deliver it to your spouse if they signed an Acceptance of Service
During the divorce, there has to be financial disclosure between the two spouses regarding the following:
- Mortgage expenses
- Credit card statements