Do I have to live in Missouri to Start a Divorce?

 

In Missouri, in order to have a final dissolution signed by the Judge, the court must find that:

  1. One of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and;
  2. That thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition in order to conclude the case.

  Of course, there are other requirements that need to be met in order for the Court to finalize a dissolution / divorce, but this is the basic requirement regarding residency.  Hence, in answering the above question; being a Missouri Resident is not necessarily a requirement, but if you are not, you soon to be ex-spouse needs to be.  You can start a dissolution / divorce proceeding even if you are not a Missouri Resident, but the Court will not grant a final Order unless the above is met.  Additional consideration should be taken if the children are residents, located in state or out of state, a topic to be addressed elsewhere.  

The full version of RSMO 452.305 is as follows

452.305.  Judgment of dissolution, grounds for — legal separation, when — judgments to contain Social Security numbers. — 1.  The court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage if:

  (1)  The court finds that one of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and that thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition; and

  (2)  The court finds that there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is irretrievably broken; and

  (3)  To the extent it has jurisdiction, the court has considered and made provision for child custody, the support of each child, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

  2.  The court shall enter a judgment of legal separation if:

  (1)  The court finds that one of the parties has been a resident of this state, or is a member of the armed services who has been stationed in this state, for ninety days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding and that thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the petition; and

  (2)  The court finds that there remains a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that therefore the marriage is not irretrievably broken; and

  (3)  To the extent it has jurisdiction, the court has considered and made provision for the custody and the support of each child, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property.

  3.  Any judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall include the last four digits of the Social Security numbers of the parties.  The full Social Security number of each party and each child shall be retained in the manner required under section 509.520.

 

Markwell Law, LLC
1031 Peruque Crossing Ct, Ste. B
O’Fallon, MO 63366
Phone: 636-486-1093
Fax: 636-634-3462

 

About the author 

Guss Markwell

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