Missouri Divorce Law

Complete Overview of of the Missouri Divorce Laws

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Important Missouri Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce

Missouri Residency Requirements For Divorce

Either the petitioner or respondent must have been a resident of Missouri for 90 days before filing Missouri divorce papers.

Grounds For Divorce In Missouri

There is only one ground for divorce in Missouri:

  • irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no reasonable likelihood the marriage can be preserved.
Missouri Child Custody

Custody will be determined according to the best interests of the child. Either joint or sole custody will be awarded. Joint custody affords both parents equal decision making power involving the child, but not necessarily equal time with the child. Sole custody provides only one parent decision making power involving the child.

The following are some factors that should be considered in any custody decision include:

  • wishes of the children;
  • wishes of each parent;
  • bond between child and parent and other siblings;
  • child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
  • mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
Missouri Child Support Guidelines

Unless special circumstances are present, the courts calculate child support based on the official child support guidelines. Child support will continue until the child reaches adulthood, and may be extended through his or her secondary education. The child support calculation takes into consideration the needs of the child, and the parents’ ability to pay.


Missouri divorce forms may be filed in either spouses’ county residence.


Either party may request mediation of their disputed issues before or after the divorce forms are filed so they may proceed in court on an uncontested basis.