Identifying Missouri’s grounds for divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Friday, February 8, 2019.

The decision to get a divorce from your spouse is no doubt a difficult one, yet one that you typically will not arrive at without having your reasons. The question that many in Jackson County have asked us here at the Stange Law Firm is whether the state will justify those reasons. You are likely familiar with the term “grounds for divorce,” which seemingly implies that you must have a valid reason to end your marriage. While that is true, that is not to say that only an egregious action by you or your ex-spouse will warrant a divorce.

Missouri is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, which means that neither you not your ex-spouse needs to be proven to be at fault in ending your marriage. Indeed, Section 452.320 of the state’s Domestic Relations Code says that you and your spouse claiming (under oath) that your relationship is “irretrievably broken” is enough to qualify for a divorce. Yet what of your spouse disagrees to this? You can then attempt to assign fault to them by proving any of the following situations:

  • Your spouse has committed adultery or some other action which would make it difficult for anyone to expect you to continue to live with them
  • Your spouse has abandoned you for at least six months
  • You and your spouse have lived apart (consensually) for more than 12 consecutive months
  • You and your spouse have lived apart (without mutual consent) for more than 24 consecutive months

If none of these scenarios applies to your case, then the court may order you and your spouse to undergo counseling. It will then order a follow-up hearing to see if either of your opinions has changed. More information on getting a divorce can be found here on our site.

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