Missouri Law Summary: Filing for Divorce

This page summarizes the filing process for divorce in Missouri, including information on the petitioner and respondent duties during the divorcing process, along with laws related to spouse's name.

A Petition may be filed in circuit court in the county in which either party resides. If an original proceeding is commenced in the county in which the Petitioner (filing spouse) resides, upon motion by the Respondent (non-filing party) filed prior to the filing of a responsive pleading, the court in which the proceeding is commenced may transfer the proceeding to the county in which the Respondent resides if the following is true:

  • The county in which the Respondent resides had been the county in which the children resided during the 90 days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding; or
  • The best interest of the children will be served if the proceeding is transferred to the county in which the Respondent resides because the children and at least one parent have significant connection with the county and there is substantial evidence concerning the present or future care, protection and personal relationships of the children in the county.

Thirty days must have elapsed since the filing of the Petition and the granting of a divorce.

The rules of the Supreme Court and other applicable court rules shall govern all proceedings for dissolution, legal separation, child support, child custody, division of property and maintenance.

Spouse's Name:

There is no statute particularly addressing a spouse reverting to his/her former name after divorce. However, statute does permit for name change in general. So, if a spouse wants to change his/her name, a Petition to that effect must be presented to the circuit court of the county of the Petitioner's house, verified by sworn statement.

The Petition must state the Petitioner's full name, the new name preferred, and a brief declaration of the motive for such desired change. If the judge is pleased that the desired change would be proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person, the Petition may be granted.

Public notice of the name change must be published at least three times in the county where the Petitioner resides, within 20 days after the court order is made, unless the following is true:

  • The Petitioner is the victim of a domestic violence crime;
  • The Petitioner is the victim of child abuse; or
  • The Petitioner is the victim of abuse by a family or household member.

If you're in need of an Family Law and Divorce Attorney in Missouri call us today to set up a consultation at 855-805-0595. If you want to read more information on this topic or have questions about Divorce in Missouri visit our Divorce FAQ page listed previously. You can also contact us online or call at 855-805-0595.