Missouri Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement and Legal Separation

No couple gets married to separate in the future, but divorces have become common in modern society. If you and your spouse feel amicable enough to solve the most critical family-related issues out of court, use the Missouri Marital Settlement Agreement. This paper is of special importance for individuals with joint kids and marital property, whether it is real estate or personal assets. To learn more about the marital agreement read our full article.

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In most US states, the form contains the same information. To get the most up-to-date personalized paper, you are welcome to use our form-building software. Here are the parts you will encounter:

  • The Armed Forces. If either or both of you serve in the US military, you should indicate so in the agreement.
  • Grounds for Divorce. If you have opted to fill out this form, you probably do not have a valid reason to terminate the marriage. You will find more information about the Fault and No-Fault grounds for divorce in the second part of the article.
  • Monetary Information. You need to provide details of your earnings, loans, valuable personal possessions, and credit card records for the court to estimate your ability to raise or support your children.
  • Health Insurance. Have you agreed upon being responsible for each other’s insurance? You are supposed to answer in the form, describing the details.
  • Marital Home. One of the most complicated issues is dividing marital property. Both parties must provide information about the real estate they own.

These things, along with other peculiarities, are included in the Missouri Marital Settlement Agreement. Ceasing an official relation is stressful—remember to contact a counselor if you are not coping with the situation. Do not hesitate to consult a legal professional while filling out this form or other papers.

Missouri Divorce and Separation Laws

The USA government aims to save as many families as possible while protecting those who have been hurt or offended in a legal relationship. That is why a set of divorce-related laws exists. Look into some of them below:

Grounds for Divorce

Title 30, Chapter 452, Sections § 452.305 (1) and § 452.320 describe why a petitioner might file for divorce. According to state law, both parties have to agree that they cannot fix their relationship. If the adverse party refuses to approve that, the petitioner can claim that there has been a fault:

  • The couple has been living in separate households for two years or more
  • The opposing party deliberately abandoned the petitioner for at least six months and has refused to return
  • Cruel behavior towards any family member
  • Adultery
  • A mutual decision to separate that was made a year ago or earlier

Property Division

According to § 452.330, any property that either party has acquired after getting married and before separation is considered marital, notwithstanding its type. After evaluating both parties’ financial disclosures, personal contribution to the assets, the place where their minor children are going to reside, and some other factors, the spouses should share marital property.

Popular Local Marital Settlement Agreement Forms

A divorce settlement agreement, often called a property settlement agreement, is a convenient document that could help you work out the divorce case and avoid unnecessary headache. Listed here are the states where people look for this form the most.

Child Custody and Visitation

No matter is more serious than providing a safe environment for the child going through their parents’ divorce. Needless to say, the court will never leave a child with an abusive adult, so the judge will look at your domestic violence history when resolving custody and visitation issues.

Many factors are going to be taken into account, including both parents’ age, sources of income, assets, debts, job positions, and the child’s preferences concerning who to live with. A nursery school child will most probably stay with a mother, though it depends on a particular situation.

The judge will always favor co-parenting and sufficient quality time for both parents and their offspring. Visitation rules are generally set for each family individually and must be followed by both parties even if one party is dissatisfied with the described conditions.

Child Support and Alimony

Alimony is granted to a spouse who is unable to provide for themselves. According to Section § 452.335, either party can be awarded maintenance due to specific factors, including marriage duration, spouses’ sources of income, their age, educational needs, financial contribution during the marriage, etc.

Child support issues are regulated by Section § 452.340 of the state law. The spouses’ living conditions, earning capacity, and the child’s physical and emotional needs are taken into account. Usually, a child ceases receiving financial support when they get married, join the armed forces, or begin to provide for themselves.

Legal separation (LS) is quite common in the state. This marital status is not recognized all around the country, but in Missouri, you can prefer this option to getting unmarried. LS is possible if at least one party has lived in the state for 90 days or more. You will have to wait for 30 days until the court acts on the case.

People may choose LS if there remains a possibility to preserve the marriage. However, once the spouses are sure that they wish to dissolve their official relationship, they may convert LS into a divorce.

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Filing for Divorce in Missouri

If you have opted for a divorce, at least one of the parties has to have been residing in Missouri for 90 days or longer. Becoming a divorcee does not prevent you from getting into a new legal relationship, regardless of how much time has passed. Several basic steps on your way to come out of your marriage are described below.

1. Prepare Required Documentation

Organizing the paperwork is probably the most important, as the court will refer to the documents you have presented when making custody and property-related decisions. Hiring a competent legal assistant might be helpful.

2. Deliver Materials to the Opposing Party

The respondent should be aware of what papers you are willing to submit to the court. Moreover, Missouri state law requires the other spouse to provide an “Answer” after receiving the documentation. Ensure you deliver the documents with the help of a sheriff (applicable fee required) or process server—you cannot deliver the papers yourself unless they are ready to accept them.

3. Attach Financial Disclosures

Both parties have to describe their financial situations on paper.

4. Attend the Hearing

Once all the documents, including your Marital Settlement Agreement (if one has been created), parenting plans, and described money-related information, are delivered to the court, you will have to wait until the hearing is scheduled.

Do not miss the hearing date, and get ready to answer any questions the judge may need to ask to understand the case better. If the situation is comparably clear, you will eventually get your divorce certificates.

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Published: May 10, 2022