Missouri is a modified no-fault divorce state. But what does that mean?
Basically, it means that the divorcing party does not have to prove that their spouse committed some kind of misconduct, such as adultery or abandonment, for the court to grant the divorce. All that has to be proven, with regards to grounds, is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, that there is no likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. In addition, there are residency requirements that must also be met.
However, this does not mean that conduct on the part of the spouse is not relevant.
How Conduct Affects the Divorce
While the conduct does not have a bearing on whether or not the court grants the divorce, it does have a bearing on other matters. For instance, conduct may affect how the court divides marital property, awards child custody, awards spousal maintenance, attorney’s fees, and in some cases child support. The court will have to look at each particular issue in the case and will make decisions according to those issues.
In the case of alimony, or spousal support, Missouri judges have a lot of freedom in the way they handle this situation. The purpose of alimony is to make sure that neither spouse falls into poverty because the marriage has ended.
Obtaining a Divorce in Missouri
In order for a divorce petition to be heard in a St. Louis court, at least one of the parties named must be a resident of the state of Missouri. The petitioner in a St. Louis divorce proceeding must also cite the grounds for which they are seeking a dissolution of the marriage. If both parties are in agreement that the marriage is indeed irretrievably broken, the judge presiding over the proceedings will accept that as grounds and grant the petition.
Our team of experienced divorce attorneys and aides assist our clients with these difficult decisions and help them choose the grounds that are most relevant to their case. We will be there to help see you through these rough times.
St. Louis Divorce Lawyers
Hundreds of questions come to mind as the stark reality of divorce settles in. As a firm, our goal is to help you find the answers to those questions and to begin the next phase of your life with as much ease as possible. We are dedicated to providing our clients and their families with kind, personalized, and professional legal representation throughout the entire divorce process.
Call us today at (314) 801-8488 or fill out our online contact form to request a free 30-minute phone consultation.