How Long Do You Have To Be Separated To Get A Divorce In Missouri

In the state of Missouri, getting a divorce involves a legal process that requires certain steps to be followed. One of the key aspects of getting a divorce in Missouri is the requirement of a separation period. But how long do you have to be separated to get a divorce in Missouri? In this article, we will explore this question, along with seven interesting facts about divorce in Missouri.

1. Grounds for Divorce in Missouri

In Missouri, there are two main grounds for divorce: no-fault and fault-based. No-fault divorce is the most common type of divorce in Missouri, where the parties can simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. Fault-based divorce, on the other hand, requires proof of specific grounds such as adultery, abandonment, or cruel treatment.

2. Separation Requirement in Missouri

In Missouri, there is a mandatory separation period for couples seeking a no-fault divorce. The separation period is six months if the couple does not have any minor children, and one year if they do have minor children. During this separation period, the couple must live separate and apart without cohabitation.

3. Legal Separation vs. Physical Separation

It is important to note that legal separation and physical separation are two different concepts in the context of divorce. Legal separation involves a formal legal process where the couple remains married but lives separately and divides their assets and liabilities. Physical separation, on the other hand, refers to living separate and apart without cohabitation.

4. Residency Requirement in Missouri

In order to file for divorce in Missouri, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. The divorce petition must be filed in the circuit court of the county where either spouse resides.

5. Division of Marital Property in Missouri

Missouri is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally in a divorce. Marital property includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage, while separate property includes assets and debts acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance.

6. Child Custody and Support in Missouri

In Missouri, child custody and support are determined based on the best interests of the child. Factors considered include the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community, and the wishes of the child’s parents. Child support guidelines are used to calculate the amount of support to be paid by the non-custodial parent.

7. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce in Missouri

Mediation and collaborative divorce are alternative dispute resolution methods that can help couples resolve their divorce issues outside of court. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the couple reach an agreement on issues such as property division and child custody. In collaborative divorce, each spouse has their own attorney and the parties work together to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

Now let’s address some common questions about divorce in Missouri:

1. Q: Can I file for divorce in Missouri if my spouse lives in another state?

A: Yes, as long as you meet the residency requirement yourself, you can file for divorce in Missouri even if your spouse lives in another state.

2. Q: How long does it take to get a divorce in Missouri?

A: The timeline for getting a divorce in Missouri can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. On average, a divorce in Missouri can take anywhere from a few months to over a year to finalize.

3. Q: Do I have to prove fault to get a divorce in Missouri?

A: No, Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, so you do not have to prove fault to get a divorce. You can simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

4. Q: Can I get a divorce without going to court in Missouri?

A: In some cases, yes. If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all issues such as property division, child custody, and support, you may be able to file for an uncontested divorce without going to court.

5. Q: Do I have to be separated to get a divorce in Missouri?

A: Yes, there is a mandatory separation period in Missouri for couples seeking a no-fault divorce. The separation period is six months if there are no minor children, and one year if there are minor children.

6. Q: How is child custody determined in Missouri?

A: Child custody in Missouri is determined based on the best interests of the child. Factors considered include the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community, and the wishes of the child’s parents.

7. Q: How is child support calculated in Missouri?

A: Child support in Missouri is calculated using child support guidelines that take into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and other factors. The court may deviate from the guidelines in certain circumstances.

8. Q: Can I change my name as part of the divorce process in Missouri?

A: Yes, you can request a name change as part of the divorce process in Missouri. You will need to include this request in your divorce petition.

9. Q: Do I need an attorney to get a divorce in Missouri?

A: While it is not required to have an attorney to get a divorce in Missouri, it is highly recommended, especially if your case involves complex issues such as child custody or property division.

10. Q: Can I get alimony in Missouri?

A: Yes, alimony may be awarded in Missouri if one spouse is financially dependent on the other and needs support. The amount and duration of alimony will depend on factors such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s financial situation.

11. Q: What happens if my spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers in Missouri?

A: If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, you may still be able to proceed with the divorce by serving them with the papers and following the appropriate legal procedures.

12. Q: Can I get a divorce if I cannot locate my spouse in Missouri?

A: Yes, you may be able to get a divorce by publication if you cannot locate your spouse. This involves publishing a notice of the divorce in a local newspaper for a certain period of time.

13. Q: Can I modify child custody and support orders in Missouri?

A: Yes, child custody and support orders can be modified in Missouri if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was issued.

14. Q: What should I do if I need help with my divorce in Missouri?

A: If you need help with your divorce in Missouri, it is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.

In conclusion, getting a divorce in Missouri involves a legal process that requires certain steps to be followed, including a mandatory separation period for couples seeking a no-fault divorce. By understanding the laws and procedures surrounding divorce in Missouri, you can navigate the process more effectively and protect your rights and interests.

Quote from a Family Law Attorney: “Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, but with the right guidance and support, you can navigate the legal system and achieve a fair resolution.”

Quote from a Mediator: “Mediation can be a valuable tool for couples going through a divorce, as it allows them to work together to reach a mutually acceptable settlement without the need for expensive and time-consuming litigation.”

Quote from a Child Custody Evaluator: “Child custody is one of the most important issues in a divorce, and it is essential to prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions.”

Quote from a Divorce Coach: “Divorce can be a transformative experience, and with the right support and resources, you can navigate this challenging time and emerge stronger and more resilient.”

In the end, divorce is a significant life event that requires careful consideration and planning. By seeking the advice of professionals and understanding the legal requirements in Missouri, you can navigate the divorce process with confidence and peace of mind.

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