The Definitive Guide to Missouri Divorce Process [Step-By-Step Guide]
Getting divorced in Missouri may become easier if you get a plan and follow it. Study the steps awaiting you in a marriage termination process. Get prepared physically and emotionally. And get a cheap divorce in Missouri without extra hassle.
1. Meet the Residency Requirements
The first step to put on your Missouri divorce process timeline is meeting the following residency requirements:
- either you or your spouse is an official resident of Missouri or is on the official military mission in the state for at least 90 days before you file for divorce;
- after you meet the requirements and file for marriage termination, the judge may meet your expectations only 30 days after filing.
Only after you can prove you meet the requirements can you go on with the divorce process and pass to the next steps.
2. Determine the Grounds to Finalize Your Marriage
When you are to get your marriage finalized, it is necessary to state the reason for your choice. The easiest option is to go for a no-fault divorce, meaning that you break up because of an irretrievably broken marriage. If both spouses admit it, or even one agrees, and the other doesn’t deny it, their marriage may be terminated.
Still, if any of you disagree with choosing a no-fault marriage termination, you will have to pick out any of the official reasons to qualify for a fault-based divorce:
- intolerable behavior;
- absence of the spouse for at least six months uninterrupted;
- living separately on a mutual agreement for at least 12 months;
- living separately without a mutual agreement for at least 24 months.
Yet, a fault-based marriage termination is only possible if you can prove your reasons officially by providing strong evidence and witnesses to your case. Often it takes more time and effort to prove your partner’s fault than you benefit in the end. So, it is strongly recommended to choose a no-fault marriage termination if suitable for your case.
3. Decide on Your Way to Get Divorced
As soon as the end of your marriage is on the horizon, your task is to pick out the best comfortable way to deal with it. Check out what you can choose from:
- Divorce with an attorney – all you need is to hire an experienced attorney, and they will lead you through the process from A to Z without significant troubles. Yet, it may cost you much.
- Online divorce – the best option for uncontested divorces in Missouri is the use of online services. You will answer several questions on a reliable platform, get your customized forms ready and file for marriage termination successfully in no time.
- DIY divorce – this means you will have to do everything on your own from scratch. You may waste a lot of time but save money.
Decide which way is the best to put the end to your marriage and follow its algorithm to succeed. Mind your priorities and remember that the outcomes will define the quality of your life afterward.
4. File for Divorce
To initiate your case officially, you have to file for divorce. To do so, you need to get the end-of-marriage forms, fill them out with the required personal and marriage data, and your views on the divorce settlement, and file them to the local court or family law office. Depending on the way you decide to finalize your marriage, you will perform the filing with or without respective assistance.
If you lack any information about the divorce process or need the official papers for filing, you can reach Missouri Judiciary, Missouri Bar Association, and Legal Service of Missouri, either online or in person. You will get all the necessary legal assistance there.
5. Go on with Divorce Process
Once you put a start to your marriage termination process, different stages are awaiting you to cover them, depending on the peculiarities of your case. Here are the common steps you may deal with:
- serving your spouse – announce your intentions officially to your soon-to-be-ex;
- contesting your spouse – dispute any end-of-marriage points your spouse don’t agree with;
- moving your case to court – if any peaceful and specialist-guided discussions don’t help you to come to an agreement with your partner, you will have to request a trial on your case and let the judge decide for you;
- getting a divorce decree – once you come to terms on your own or with the help of the specialists and officials, you will get your divorce settlement agreement to help you implement the results of the end of your marriage.
The more complicated your case is, the more steps it may include. You should also divide your assets and debts, decide on custody, alimony, and many other points to manage your lives separately. Remember that cooperation with your partner will make things several times easier and more beneficial in the end.
Learn how to get a divorce in Missouri, create your marriage termination plan, and implement it with your best efforts to reach success and happiness eventually.