Missouri Divorce FAQ: What is meant by No Fault Divorce in Missouri?

Missouri is a modified no fault divorce state. This means that the proof of fault, wrongdoing, or bad conduct during the marriage is not required for the Court to enter a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. All that must be proven with regard to conduct is that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be preserved.

However, this does not mean that fault, or “misconduct” is not relevant to the case, which is why Missouri is a “modified” no fault divorce state. The misconduct of one party to the case can be a factor in determining several issues in the case, including:

  • Whether or not spousal maintenance (alimony) is awarded
  • The length and duration of a maintenance award
  • How property is divided
  • How debts are divided
  • Whether the marital estate will be divided equally, or in some other ratio such as 60/40, or 70/30
  • Child custody awards, if the misconduct either directly or indirectly affects the children.

Spousal misconduct for these purposes can include physical, mental, or emotional abuse, financial misconduct (gambling, squandering assets, financial irresponsibility), adultery, dishonesty, criminal conduct, and any other type of misconduct that may be relevant.

By: Mark A. Wortman

Categories: Divorce