What is No-Fault Divorce in Missouri and Are There Any Benefits?

You’ve probably heard of “no-fault” divorces, but what are they?  And, are there any benefits or advantages? 

In Missouri, no-fault means either spousecan request a divorce without giving a specific reason for the divorce. The filing party may simply cite “irreconcilable differences” or give any reason they wish. Most Missouri divorcing spouses state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”  Unlike states with “at-fault” divorce statutes, Missouri does not require that one person claim their spouse committed adultery, abandoned them, was a substance abuser, had a felony conviction, or engaged in other misconduct that caused the marriage to fail as a basis for filing for divorce.   Acceptable reasons for at-fault divorces vary from state to state.

One benefit of a no-fault divorce process is privacy. Couples are not required to air their dirty laundry in court in order to be granted a divorce.

Minimizing conflict is another advantage to a no-fault divorce process. No-fault divorces can allow couples to part on more amicable terms, which is healthier for adults and children.

Another benefit: no-fault divorces can be quicker and less expensive than at-fault divorces where the parties have to fight about the reason for the divorce in addition to dividing their property and awarding custody of children.

Often, no-fault divorce is confused with uncontested divorce (also sometimes called “no-contest” divorce).  Uncontested divorces in Missouri are divorces where parties have reached a settlement on all issues and neither contests the divorce itself.   

In Missouri, there is a statutory waiting period of thirty (30) days before a divorce to be granted by the Court but there is no mandatory waiting period beyond that.   Waiting periods vary by state. 

We are here to help.  With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact our team.