Marital Misconduct and Divorce

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Marital Misconduct and Divorce

Marital misconduct is no longer needed in order to get divorced in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma.  The law in both states, while worded slightly different, requires a showing that a marriage is irretrievably broken and that there is no reasonable likelihood that it can be saved.In hearing that fault is no longer required to obtain a divorce, many believe that marital misconduct is now completely irrelevant in divorce proceedings. Generally speaking, marital misconduct is any inappropriate behavior that led to the breakdown of the marital relationship.  Marital misconduct can range from affairs, cheating, domestic violence, alcoholism or drug use, abandonment, gambling or financial misconduct.

Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma Law on Marital Misconduct

Although fault does not need to be determined to get divorced, in Missouri, the “conduct of the spouses during the marriage” is a factor that a family court can consider in justly dividing marital property and debt and determining spousal maintenance.  This can make marital misconduct highly relevant in Missouri.  In Kansas, the courts have the ability to look at conduct as well.  But, oftentimes, courts look at it primarily when there is an economic impact as a result of the misconduct.  In Illinois, on the other hand, excludes marital misconduct from any consideration regarding property and debt division or spousal maintenance.  Yet, in determining child custody, marital misconduct could have a bearing on the best interests of the children in both Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma and become relevant.

In some cases, it might be beneficial to hire a private investigator to investigate marital misconduct or other concerns that you may have.  In these cases, we can get you to a private investigator who can help.

For more information, please feel free to visit one of our blog posts:  In your deposition, don’t try to convince opposing counsel you’re right and What effect does marital misconduct have in a divorce?

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