The Betz Law Firm Articles How to File for a No Fault Divorce in Missouri

How to File for a No Fault Divorce in Missouri

By David Betz  May. 13, 2019 9:49a

When filing for divorce, the grounds on which you make a claim are “fault” or “no-fault.” That means that you either blame the other spouse for the failure of your marriage, or you admit that no one is to be blamed for this outcome, but the divorce is still wanted.

No fault divorces are relatively new to the law system, being introduced in 1969 in California. Each state has its requirements for filing a no-fault divorce.

How Does a No-Fault Divorce Work?

Whether one of the partners takes the initiative or they both file for divorce at the same time, a no-fault divorce case implies that they mutually agree that their marriage is beyond repair.

The truth of the matter is that no-fault divorces are less expensive and easier to obtain than a fault divorce. Some couples choose this path to avoid complications and stress, especially when children are involved.

When courts are dealing with divorces, their requirements depend a lot on how the person filing for divorce is positioning themselves. If you were to file for a fault divorce, like one justified by the other spouse's abuse or adultery, you would both need to provide proof of your claims. That often means making intimate moments and problems public. Because of that, fault divorces are often lengthy, messy and traumatic.

It is easy to see why no-fault divorce is preferable in most cases. That said, don't automatically choose to file for a no-fault divorce, just because it would be easier to obtain it. If you are in an abusive marriage, then filing for a fault divorce could serve as grounds for a possible custody trial or personal injury claim. So, be sincere with your St. Louis divorce lawyer about your reasons.

With this in mind, let's go through the requirements needed for a no-fault divorce.

Requirements for a No-Fault Divorce

If you want to get a no-fault divorce, then all you have to do is choose a reason that the Missouri state law considers valid.

The most common reason for no-fault divorce is declaring that the couple cannot get along anymore. You may argue that there are “irreconcilable differences” between you and your spouse or that you are experiencing an “irremediable breakdown of the marriage.” If your spouse agrees that your claim is valid, your divorce should go relatively smoothly.

Make sure that you file the divorce with the correct circuit. Every court is divided into 45 judicial circuits, such as crime, family, and so on. You will have to fill in a lot of paperwork, so take your time and read everything carefully. If you have any doubts, ask the clerks for clarification or discuss with your lawyer.

Regardless of your reasons for separation, always consult with your St. Louis family law attorney before filing a claim. They will guide you through this emotional period and work in your best interest.

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