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How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce in Missouri?

In Missouri, there is no specific waiting period or separation requirement for getting a divorce. The state of Missouri follows a no-fault divorce law, which means that you can file for a divorce based on irreconcilable differences, without having to prove any fault of the other party.

However, if you and your spouse have been living separately for an extended period, it may be grounds for divorce. Living separately means that you and your spouse are not cohabiting and not engaging in any marital activities.

In Missouri, if you and your spouse have lived separately for a minimum of 24 months continuously, it can be grounds for a divorce. This time period starts from the date of your separation and must be continuous, without any reconciliation attempts.

Moreover, if you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 12 months, it may be used as evidence of irreconcilable differences, and may help expedite the divorce process. However, it is essential to note that living separately for 12 months alone is not sufficient grounds for a divorce in Missouri.

Keep in mind that the length of separation alone does not guarantee a divorce. There is a formal process that must be followed, and a court must grant the divorce. It is advisable to consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Missouri to understand the legal requirements and process for filing for divorce.

Does Missouri require a legal separation before divorce?

Missouri does not require a legal separation before a divorce, which means couples can file for divorce without going through a formal separation process. However, a couple can choose to enter into a legal separation agreement as an alternative to divorce.

In Missouri, couples can file for either a no-fault or fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce can be granted based on irreconcilable differences or the marriage being irretrievably broken. A fault-based divorce, on the other hand, can be granted on the grounds of adultery, abandonment, abuse, or other specific reasons.

If a couple wishes to divorce without a legal separation, they must meet certain residency requirements, including one party being a resident of Missouri for at least 90 days before filing for dissolution of marriage. Additionally, they must agree on issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony, or have the court decide for them.

However, a legal separation in Missouri can be beneficial for couples who are not ready to file for divorce but wish to live apart and establish boundaries. A legal separation agreement can address issues such as property division, child support, and spousal maintenance, much like a divorce decree.

Furthermore, a legal separation can be converted into a divorce if the couple decides to end their marriage at a later date. This can save time and money because much of the work has already been done.

Missouri does not require a legal separation before a divorce, but couples can choose to enter into a legal separation agreement if they wish. A legal separation can be beneficial for couples who wish to live apart and establish boundaries but are not ready for a divorce. the decision to divorce or legally separate rests with the couple and their unique circumstances.

What is the fastest way to get a divorce in Missouri?

Getting divorced is usually a difficult process, and it often takes time and effort to finalize the process. However, if you’re looking for a way to get a quick divorce in Missouri, there are a few things you can do to streamline the process.

The fastest way to get a divorce in Missouri is by filing a joint petition for dissolution of marriage. This means that both you and your spouse must agree on all of the terms of your divorce, such as child custody, support, property division, and alimony. If you can reach an agreement on everything, you can file the paperwork together, and the court will usually grant your divorce within a few months.

In order to file for a joint petition for dissolution of marriage, you’ll need to follow these steps:

1. Draft a divorce agreement: In order to file a joint petition, you’ll need to have a written agreement that covers all of the terms of your divorce. If you need help drafting this agreement, you may want to consider hiring a divorce lawyer or mediator to assist you.

2. File the petition: Once you have your agreement in place, you can file the joint petition with the court in the county where you or your spouse lives. You’ll also need to pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the county.

3. Attend a hearing: After you file the petition, you’ll be given a court date for a hearing. Both you and your spouse will need to attend the hearing, where a judge will review your agreement and finalize the divorce.

It’s important to note that filing a joint petition isn’t always possible. If you and your spouse can’t agree on all of the terms of your divorce, you may need to file a contested divorce, which can take much longer to finalize. Additionally, if you have complex financial or legal issues to resolve, it’s a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the best possible outcome in your case.

The fastest way to get a divorce in Missouri is by filing a joint petition for dissolution of marriage, but this may not be possible in all cases. If you’re considering divorce, it’s a good idea to speak with a qualified divorce lawyer to explore your options and find the best path forward for your situation.

What is considered legally separated in Missouri?

In Missouri, a legal separation is a legal process that is very similar to a divorce. It allows spouses to separate their lives while still remaining married. A legal separation can be granted by the court only if the spouses meet certain requirements and have valid reasons for seeking a separation.

To obtain a legal separation in Missouri, one party must file a petition with the court that details the reasons for the separation. The petition must include information about the couple’s assets, debts, and any children that they may have. It must also describe the grounds for the separation, such as adultery, abandonment, or irreconcilable differences.

Once the petition has been filed, the other spouse must be served with a copy of the petition and given the opportunity to respond to it. If the other spouse agrees to the terms of the separation, they can sign a separation agreement that outlines the couple’s rights and responsibilities during the separation.

The agreement must be approved by the court to be enforceable.

If the other spouse does not agree to the separation, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether a legal separation is necessary. At the hearing, the judge will consider the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the couple and any children involved.

During a legal separation, the couple must live apart and cannot have sexual relations with each other. They are also obligated to follow the terms of the separation agreement that was approved by the court. These terms may include provisions for child custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of property and debts.

Legal separation in Missouri does not have a specific waiting period before a couple can pursue a divorce. If the couple decides to divorce later, they will need to file a new petition with the court and follow the procedures for a divorce.

A legal separation in Missouri is a legal process that allows married couples to separate their lives while still remaining legally married. It requires the filing of a petition with the court, the agreement of both parties or a court decision, and the approval of a separation agreement that outlines the couple’s rights and responsibilities during the separation.

It is a legally binding agreement that must be upheld by both parties until they either pursue a divorce or decide to reconcile.

What are the grounds for divorce in Missouri?

In Missouri, a divorce can be granted on both fault and no-fault grounds. The grounds for fault divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruel treatment, imprisonment, and indignities. Adultery refers to one spouse engaging in sexual activities with someone outside the marriage. Abandonment means one spouse leaving the marital home with the intention of ending the marriage.

Cruel treatment involves abuse, infliction of physical, emotional, or psychological harm, or any other behaviors that endanger the life, health, or well-being of one spouse.

Imprisonment refers to one spouse being convicted and sentenced to jail or prison. In this case, the other spouse can file for divorce, citing imprisonment as their ground. Indignities involve a spouse’s conduct that makes the other spouse’s life so intolerable that continued cohabitation is not possible.

On the other hand, no-fault divorce can be granted based on irreconcilable differences. In this case, the spouses no longer get along and have incompatible personalities, lifestyles, or values. If the spouses have lived separately for at least six months, and there is no reasonable likelihood that they will reconcile, the court may grant a divorce.

It’s important to note that Missouri is a mixed state, meaning that it recognizes both community property and equitable distribution. It means that the property obtained during the marriage is subject to division, and the court will distribute it equitably between the spouses, considering several factors like the length of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse to the marital estate, and the economic circumstances of each spouse.

Missouri allows divorce on both fault and no-fault grounds, and there are various factors that can influence the division of property between the spouses. It’s wise to consult an experienced divorce attorney who can provide legal guidance and help you navigate the divorce process smoothly.

Can you date while separated in Missouri?

In the state of Missouri, there is no law that prohibits dating while separated. However, it is important to understand that a legal separation is not the same as a divorce. When a couple legally separates, they are still legally married and cannot remarry until they obtain a legally binding divorce.

While a person who is separated is not restricted from dating, it is important to consider the implications that dating may have on their separation proceedings. For example, if the person’s spouse finds out that they are dating someone else, it may cause conflict or further strain the relationship.

Additionally, if the person is seeking spousal support, the court may take into account their new relationship when determining their need for support.

It is also important to note that dating during a separation can affect child custody and visitation arrangements. The court may consider a new relationship when making decisions about parenting time and the child’s best interests.

Overall, it is important to weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding to date while separated in Missouri. It is recommended to speak with a family law attorney for guidance on how to proceed with a separation and any related legal issues.

What is spousal abandonment in Missouri?

Spousal abandonment in Missouri refers to a situation where one spouse leaves the family home or marital relationship without warning, explanation or without a reasonable justification, with no intention of returning or supporting the remaining spouse. This act often leads to the desertion of the abandoned spouse, creating various financial and emotional burdens for them.

Under Missouri law, spousal desertion is considered a form of fault grounds for divorce, which refers to the grounds for divorce that are based on one spouse’s misconduct or wrongdoing. Unlike no-fault divorce, a fault divorce requires one spouse to prove that the other spouse is at fault for the divorce.

To file for divorce on the grounds of spousal abandonment in Missouri, the abandoned spouse must prove the following elements:

1. The deserting spouse left without justification or consent

2. The deserting spouse left with the intent to end the marital relationship

3. The abandoned spouse has been living apart from the deserting spouse for at least six continuous months immediately preceding the filing of the petition for divorce.

Once the court is satisfied that the above elements have been established, it may grant a divorce decree that dissolves the marital relationship between the parties. The court may also award spousal support, child support, custody and visitation orders, and divide marital property.

It is important to note that spousal abandonment may also have serious criminal consequences. While the specific penalties vary, in Missouri, it is a crime to willfully abandon a spouse or child under the age of 18 years. The penalty for spousal abandonment may include a fine, imprisonment, or both.

Spousal abandonment in Missouri is a serious offense that can have significant emotional, financial and legal implications for the abandoned spouse. If you are considering filing for divorce on the grounds of spousal abandonment, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your interests.

Can I be in a relationship if I’m legally separated?

Yes, you can be in a relationship if you are legally separated. Legal separation is the process of obtaining a court order that recognizes the end of a marital relationship. During the separation period, the couple is still legally married but living apart.

Although you are still legally married during a separation, it does not stop you from pursuing a new romantic relationship. However, there are a few things to consider before entering a new relationship.

Firstly, you should ensure that your separation agreement does not restrict you from dating other people. In some cases, separation agreements have clauses that limit a person’s romantic relationships while legally separated. It is essential to read and understand the terms of your separation agreement before entering into any new relationship.

Another important factor to consider is how a new relationship may impact your divorce proceedings. If your separation is for the purpose of getting a divorce, then starting a new relationship can delay the divorce process. Your spouse may contest the divorce based on your new relationship, and the court may require additional time to assess this before granting the divorce.

Additionally, if you have children, a new relationship can have a significant impact on them. It is essential to ensure that you approach the situation with care and sensitivity, considering how it may affect your children.

You can be in a relationship while legally separated, but it is important to consider any potential legal implications and the impact it may have on yourself, your spouse, and your children. It is always advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and responsibilities during a separation period.

How do you get legally separated without divorce?

Legal separation is a legal process that allows couples who are not ready for a divorce to live apart and deal with issues such as property, finances, and child custody. Legally separating without divorce varies depending on the state or country, but the basic steps to follow are similar.

The first step in the process is to consult an attorney who specializes in legal separation. The attorney will guide you with the requirements and obligations of the law in the area where you live. The attorney will review you and your spouse’s financial and property documents, such as bank statements, titles, and mortgage statements, which will help you establish an agreement in the terms of your separation.

The next step is to come up with a written agreement that sets out the roles and responsibilities of each party. This agreement should include property distribution, child custody and support, and spousal support. Both parties must agree to the terms of the agreement for it to be valid. Depending on your state or country, you may be required to sign a separation agreement and submit it to the court.

Once the separation agreement is in place, it is important to live according to its terms. Keep in mind that the agreement can be modified if necessary, but it must be done legally and with the guidance of an attorney.

Getting legally separated without divorce requires the involvement of an attorney to guide you through the process. It requires a written agreement that outlines each party’s responsibilities and terms of separation. Once this agreement is in place, it is essential to adhere to its terms to avoid legal complications.

How much is does the average divorce cost in the state of Missouri?

Divorce costs can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of each case, such as the complexity of the legal issues involved, the type of divorce (contested or uncontested), and the level of cooperation between the spouses. Generally, the cost of a divorce in Missouri may include the following fees and expenses:

1. Filing fee: The fee for filing a divorce petition with the court varies by county in Missouri but generally ranges from $130 to $200.

2. Service fee: If the other party needs to be served with divorce papers, there may be a fee involved for the process server or sheriff to deliver the papers. Costs can range between $30 to $100.

3. Attorney fees: Legal representation is not required in Missouri in order to get a divorce, but many people find it helpful to hire a divorce attorney to help them navigate the process. Attorney fees can vary depending on the lawyer’s experience, hourly rate of fees, and the complexity of the case.

4. Mediation or collaboration fees: If the spouses opt for mediation or collaboration in order to resolve their issues, there may be additional fees involved for the mediator or collaborative attorney.

5. Court-related fees: Depending on the length and complexity of the divorce court proceedings, some additional court-related fees may also be incurred, such as fees for transcripts, court reporters, court interpreters, and other related costs.

Overall, the cost of divorce in Missouri can range significantly from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on several factors. However, one way to minimize costs is to seek out a skilled and experienced divorce lawyer who can help negotiate a fair and favorable settlement.

Additionally, some couples opt for alternative methods of dispute resolution like mediation and collaboration that tend to be less costly than traditional litigation.

Who pays divorce costs?

Divorce costs can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case and the jurisdiction in which the divorce is filed. The cost of a divorce typically includes court filing fees, attorney fees, and other expenses such as appraisals, court reporters, and expert witness fees, among others.

In most cases, the parties involved in the divorce are responsible for paying their own fees, including their own attorney fees. However, in situations in which one party earns significantly more than the other, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to pay a portion of the other party’s attorney fees to ensure they have equal access to legal representation.

There are also situations in which a court may order one spouse to pay some or all of the costs associated with the divorce. This is typically done when one spouse engages in behavior that is deemed unacceptable by the court, such as marital misconduct or failing to comply with court orders.

Additionally, some divorce cases are settled through mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution that can significantly reduce the time and expense of the divorce. In these cases, the cost of the divorce is typically divided between both parties but can vary depending on the specific terms of the agreement.

Divorce costs are typically paid by the parties involved in the divorce, but the court may order one spouse to pay some or all of the fees in certain circumstances. Mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods can also play a role in determining the cost of a divorce.

Is Missouri a 50 50 divorce state?

Missouri is not a 50 50 divorce state. It is a state that follows the principles of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing the assets and debts of a marriage in a divorce. Equitable distribution means that a court will divide the marital property in a way that is fair and just considering the circumstances of the case.

To divide the marital property, a court will consider various factors such as the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, their earning capacity and financial needs, and the contributions they made to the marriage. The court will also take into account any non-marital property, such as assets that were acquired before the marriage, inheritances, and gifts.

The court will start by identifying all the marital property and debts of the parties, including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, personal property, and any outstanding loans or credit card debts. Once the marital property is identified, the court will assign a monetary value to each asset and debt.

Then, the court will determine how best to divide the property and debts based on the factors mentioned above. In some cases, the court may order that certain assets be sold and the proceeds divided, while in other cases, the assets may be divided between the parties. The court may also award one party a larger share of the property if it determines that it is necessary to achieve a fair and just result.

In a 50 50 state, such as California, for example, marital property is divided equally between the parties regardless of the parties’ financial circumstances or other factors. However, in Missouri, the court has more discretion to consider the particular facts of each case and award property and debts based on what it deems to be a fair and just outcome.

Overall, while Missouri is not a 50 50 divorce state, it does provide for a fair and equitable distribution of property and debts in a divorce. It is important for parties to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to ensure that their rights are protected during the divorce process.

Does it matter who files for divorce first in Missouri?

In Missouri, it does not necessarily matter who files for divorce first. The state follows a “no-fault” divorce law, which means that either spouse can file for divorce without citing any specific reason for wanting to end the marriage. Therefore, the court does not consider who files first when making decisions about custody, property division, or support.

However, there may be some strategic advantages to filing for divorce first. For example, the spouse who files obtains control over the timeline of the divorce proceedings, as well as the court where the case will be heard. Additionally, the filing spouse may have an initial advantage in negotiating a settlement or securing temporary orders for custody or support.

Nevertheless, the advantages of filing first are not significant enough to justify rushing into a divorce or making impulsive decisions. Before filing, it is important for both spouses to seek legal advice and consider the long-term consequences of their decisions. A skilled family law attorney can help guide spouses through the process of filing for divorce and protect their rights and interests throughout the proceedings.

the decision of who files for divorce first should be based on personal circumstances and not on perceived legal advantages.

Can I date while going through a divorce in Missouri?

While it is not illegal to date while going through a divorce in Missouri, it is important to understand the potential consequences and impact on the divorce proceedings.

Firstly, dating while going through a divorce can be emotionally and mentally challenging. Divorce is a difficult and stressful time for both parties, and adding a new romantic relationship to the mix can create even more complications and emotions. It is important to consider whether you are ready to date again and whether it will realistically help or hinder the divorce process.

Additionally, dating can affect the legal aspects of the divorce. In Missouri, the court typically considers marital misconduct as a factor in determining the division of property and spousal support. While dating itself may not be considered marital misconduct, engaging in other behavior, such as spending marital assets on a new partner, could be seen as such.

Furthermore, dating can also complicate child custody and visitation agreements. If a new partner is introduced during the divorce proceedings, it may create tension and conflict between the parties, affecting the children’s welfare.

While there is no law against dating while going through a divorce in Missouri, it is important to weigh the emotional, legal, and practical consequences. It is recommended to consult with a divorce attorney and therapist to determine whether dating is the right choice for you during this challenging time.

Can I file for divorce in Missouri without a lawyer?

Yes, it is possible to file for divorce in Missouri without a lawyer, but it is highly recommended that you at least consult with one before beginning the process. Divorce is a complex legal proceeding, and the laws and regulations surrounding it vary from state to state. Missouri’s divorce laws are no exception, and it can be difficult for someone without legal training to understand and navigate the legal system effectively.

If you choose to proceed without a lawyer, it is important to understand what you are getting into. You will be responsible for completing and filing all of the necessary paperwork, and if you make a mistake or fail to follow the correct procedures, it can delay or even derail the entire process.

Additionally, divorces can become emotionally charged, and it can be difficult for someone without legal training to remain calm and objective throughout the proceedings. A lawyer can help you to stay focused on your objectives and negotiate effectively on your behalf, which can make a significant difference in the final outcome of your case.

The decision to file for divorce without a lawyer is yours to make. If you are confident in your ability to understand and follow the legal procedures, and if you feel comfortable navigating the emotions and complexities of the divorce process on your own, then you may be able to proceed without a lawyer.

However, if you have any doubts, it is always best to consult with a qualified divorce attorney before taking any action to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.


  1. How Long Separated to Get a Divorce in Missouri
  2. Missouri Divorce |
  3. Divorce in Missouri FAQ
  4. Missouri Divorce FAQ – DivorceNet
  5. Legal Separation in Missouri FAQs – DivorceNet