Missouri Law Summary: Divorce and Legal Separation

Below is some information regarding divorce laws in Missouri, including information on petitioner and respondent duties. You can find out more about divorce laws in Missouri by visiting our page on

Divorce in Missouri is referred to as Dissolution of Marriage

In Missouri, there is only one ground for dissolution of marriage: There remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is irreversibly broken.

If both of the parties by petition or have stated under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irreversibly broken, or one of the parties has made the accusation and the other has not denied it, the court, after considering the petition or statement, and after a hearing on the subject, shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irreversibly broken and shall enter an order of dissolution or dismissal accordingly.

If one of the parties has denied under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irreversibly broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition and the prospect of reconciliation, and after hearing the evidence shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irreversibly broken.

In order to make a finding that the marriage is irreversibly broken, the Petitioner must please the court on one or more of the following facts; that the Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent, that the Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent, that the Respondent has abandoned the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least six months before filing the Petition, that both parties have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the Petition; or that both parties have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least 24 months preceding the filing of the Petition, if the court makes a finding that the marriage is irreversibly broken, it shall enter an order of dissolution. If not, it may enter an order of dismissal.

The court may also continue the matter for further hearing not less than 30 days or more than six months later, or as soon thereafter as the hearing may be planned, and may propose to the parties that they seek counseling. No court shall require counseling as a condition to receiving a decree.

For more information on Divorce in Missouri or information about hiring a family law attorney visit our page on Preparing for divorce in Missouri and Illinois: Hiring the right attorney or if you want to set up a consultation with one of our Divorce and Family Law Attorneys view their profiles here.  You can also contact us online or call us 855-805-0595.