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Missouri Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Missouri, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Missouri should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Missouri Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Missouri Divorce Professional.

  • At least one spouse must live in Missouri for 90 days before filing for a Missouri divorce. At least 30 days must pass between the filing of the petition and the judge's signing of the divorce decree granting the divorce. This 30-day waiting period makes sure couples have a chance to reconcile if possible.
  • The responding spouse has 20 days to reply to the petition.
  • All property and debts are distributed in a Missouri divorce. If the parties cannot reach an agreement as to the division of property, the court will generally divide all property acquired during the marriage except for inherited property. Missouri divorce laws provide for an equitable distribution of all property during the marriage.
  • The court may award spousal support to either spouse, but a spouse seeking maintenance must request it in the divorce complaint. In determining the need, duration, and amount of maintenance, the court considers the finances of the spouse requesting support, the time needed for schooling or training to help the petitioning spouse find a job, the earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, and the conduct or misconduct of the spouses during the marriage and divorce.
  • In any divorce case involving minor children, the court decides custody and in doing so considers the wishes of the parents, the preference of the child if the child is old enough, the child's relationship with siblings and the family, the mental and physical health of the child, and the educational needs of the child.
  • Child support is based on the Missouri Child Support Guidelines. The court calculates support based on the gross monthly income of the parents, the cost of health insurance, the cost of day care, and the cost of providing support to others (such as parents or minor children of other marriages).

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