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Missouri is a “No Fault” State, Except …

In order for a Judge to grant a Dissolution of Marriage (formerly called a “divorce”), the Judge must find both that there is no reasonable likelihood that that marriage can be preserved and that the marriage is irretrievably broken.  In the overwhelming majority of cases, the parties agree to both points.  However, if either party denies under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the party seeking the dissolution of marriage must plead (meaning say in a paper signed  under oath and filed with the court), one of the following:

(a)  the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent; OR

(b)  the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent; OR

(c)  the respondent has abandoned the petitioner for a continuous period of at least six months preceding the presentation of the petition; OR

(d)  the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart by mutual consent for a continuous period of twelve months immediately preceding the filing of the petition; OR

(e)  the parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least twenty-four months preceding the filing of the petition.

If the basis upon which the request for a dissolution of marriage is that “That the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent”, the party making that claim should be prepared to state in a pleading the specific behaviors that are the basis for the claim.