The role of fault in a Missouri divorce

There are a multitude of reasons that the parties to a married couple may choose to end their union. They may find that over time they have grown apart, or the end of the union may be sudden realization based on the conduct of one or both of the parties. In Missouri, individuals do not have to plead fault to bring their marriages to their ends, but fault can play a role in a divorce if the legal matter is contested.

A no fault divorce is one in which blame for the end of the relationship is not assigned to one of the parties. In Missouri, a person may plead that their marriage is irretrievably broken in order to begin divorce proceedings. If their spouse agrees then the matter may proceed without issue. If, though, the spouse alleges that the marriage is not irretrievably broken and that it may have a chance to survive, the pleading party may use fault as evidence of the marriage's total demise.

Evidence of adultery or criminal conduct may be offered by a pleading party to show that their marriage should not endure. Also, a pleading party may show that their spouse abandoned or abused them and that the marriage is not sustainable. The facts of every divorce are different, though, and readers are asked to discuss how fault may factor into their own divorces with their trusted family law attorneys.

There are other procedural requirements that parties must meet in order to file for divorce in Missouri. However, readers can take from this post that fault does not have to be pled in order to file for divorce, though it may become relevant if a divorce is contested.

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