Missouri Law Summary: Annulments & Property Division Laws

Below is some information on Missouri Annulment laws. This summary will include relevant and important information on prohibited marriages, common law marriages, property division laws and additional information on marital property.

Prohibited Marriages includes the following:

  • Marriages between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, between brothers and sisters (half or whole), between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, and first cousins
  • Marriage between persons who lack the capacity to enter into a marriage contract
  • All marriages where either of the parties has a former spouse still living, shall be void, unless the former marriage has been dissolved
  • Either party to the marriage is under 15 years of age
  • Either party to the marriage is at least 15 years of age but under 18 years of age, and did not obtain the consent of his/her custodial parent or guardian

It is the public policy of Missouri to recognize marriage only between a man and a woman. A marriage between persons of the same sex will not be recognized for any purpose in Missouri even when valid where contracted. Common-law marriages contracted in Missouri are null and void. Missouri case law shows that the state also permits annulment for other grounds, such as duress; mental illness, insanity, and retardation; lack of physical assent to the marriage; impotency; and entering into marriage due to fraud.

Property Division

In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation the court shall set apart to each spouse such spouse's non-marital property and shall divide the marital property and marital debts in such proportions as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors including the following:

· The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of any children

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker
  • The value of the non-marital property set apart to each spouse
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage
  • Custodial arrangements for minor children

Marital property is defined as all property acquired by either spouse after the marriage, except the following:

  • Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent
  • Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation
  • Property excluded by valid written agreement of the parties
  • The increase in value of property acquired prior to a decree of legal separation or dissolution of marriage is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in some form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, and community property.

Property categorized a separate property shall not become marital properly solely because it may have become commingled with marital property.

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