Divorce Procedure

How is a divorce granted? Will I have to go to court?

Only a judge may grant a divorce. If you and your spouse do not agree on all of the issues in your case, you will have to go to court to have the judge decide those matters.  Most judges prefer that each party attend any and all settlement/pre-trial conferences set on their case as judges are of the opinion that the parties should be involved in their case and show interest. There will be opportunities for a partial or complete resolution to settle all of the issues in your case without formal court proceedings. These may include mediation, informal negotiations, Read more

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

A verified petition for dissolution of marriage may be filed at the circuit clerk’s office in the county courthouse where either you or your spouse resides.

After I file for divorce, do I have to continue to live in Missouri?

There is no legal requirement that you continue to live in Missouri after you file for divorce. You should understand that you would need to remain involved your case and you may need to make court appearances. If you have minor children, moving to another state while your divorce is pending can make the court’s custody and visitation decisions much more complicated. After your divorce is granted, if you wish to move with your children to another state, you will have to give written notice to your former spouse. Your former spouse will have the opportunity to file a motion Read more

When can I file for divorce in Missouri?

You must be a resident of Missouri for at least 90 days before you can file for divorce.  If children are involved and they do not have the necessary “ties” with the State of Missouri, then the opposing party may contest the divorce filing in Missouri if the filing party has only resided in the state for the requisite 90 days.

Can I get an annulment in Missouri?

An annulment is a decision by the court that the marriage was not legal from the beginning. Annulments are granted only in limited and unusual situations. Annulments may be granted for marriages that are between persons who are related to each other, between persons who lack the mental capacity to enter into a contract, between persons of the same sex, or where one spouse was still legally married to another person.

What typically happens if I go to court to obtain my divorce myself?

It is strongly discouraged in the vast majority of cases. Without an attorney, you will be at a significant disadvantage. You will be held to the same standards as an attorney, and you will be expected to know and comply with all of the statutes and case law applicable to divorce, the filing requirements, property laws, rules of evidence, and the court’s procedures and rules. You will not be given any special treatment or assistance in the courtroom.