MISSOURI DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
MISSOURI 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)"
solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that
will be filed in the state of Missouri. An uncontested divorce is one in
which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and
expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Missouri divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your Missouri divorce papers in a timely, professional, and hassle-free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file your DIY divorce forms in Missouri, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement .
Online Divorce FAQ: Missouri
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Missouri.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Missouri?
Missouri 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Missouri 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
UPDATE: 3StepDivorce™ for Missouri isn’t available right now, while we update our forms and services for Missouri. Check back soon at 3StepDivorce.com for current availability. In the meantime, you should be able to get divorce forms at the state courts’ website or the court clerk’s office in your county, and the information below can answer your questions about getting an uncontested divorce in Missouri.
Can I File for Divorce in Missouri?
You may file for divorce (or “dissolution of marriage”) in Missouri as long as you meet the state’s residency requirement. Either you or your spouse must have resided in Missouri for at least 90 days immediately before the filing date. (Mo. Stat. § 452.305 (2022).)
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Dissolution of Marriage in Missouri?
Many Missouri residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- alimony (known as “maintenance” under Missouri law), and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Missouri 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
Once 3StepDivorce™ is available in Missouri, you may use it as long as:
- you have an uncontested divorce
- you meet the state’s residency requirement, and
- you and your spouse agree that your marriage is “irretrievably broken”—meaning there’s no reasonable likelihood that it can be saved. (Mo. Stat. § 452.305 (2022).)
You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement (known as a “separation agreement” in Missouri), signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Missouri 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Missouri 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Missouri If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Missouri 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Missouri 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement.
3StepDivorce™ provides a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs. However, your parenting plan must meet the state’s detailed requirements (Mo. Stat. § 452.310(8) (2022).)
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues in your Missouri divorce if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Missouri with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule.(Mo. Stat. §§ 452.705(8), 452.740 (2020).)
How Will My Online Divorce in Missouri Deal With Child Support?
In Missouri, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Missouri has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements.
3StepDivorce™ provides the Missouri Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount, but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement. Missouri law requires that any time the amount of child support deviates from the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances. (Mo. Stat. § 452.340 (2022).)
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Missouri is final, you (or your spouse) may ask to change the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that your circumstances have changed to such an extent that the original support order is unreasonable. (Mo. Stat. § 452.370 (2022).)
You can submit your request to modify a support order to the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division.
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. However, you’ll need to submit your agreement to the Family Support Division, and a judge will still need to approve it.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Missouri 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Missouri dissolution, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Missouri?
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Missouri divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of maintenance payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Missouri?
When you plan to file for dissolution of marriage without hiring an attorney (using Missouri 3StepDivorce™ or on your own), you’ll need to complete Missouri’s “Litigant Awareness Program,” which involves watching a short video or reading some written information.
Once you’ve done that, take your printed certificate of completion, along with your completed and signed divorce papers, to the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse lives. (Mo. Stat. § 452.300 (2022).) You can use the Missouri Courts “Find a Court” search tool to get court location and contact information.
How Much Is Missouri’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
The amount of the fee to file your divorce papers depends on the local court where you’re filing. You should be able to find the fees on the local circuit court’s website or by calling the court clerk’s office.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you can’t afford the fee, you may request a waiver by filing an “In Forma Pauperis Application.” You can find the form on the court’s website, along with the other dissolution forms.
How Long Does an Uncontested Dissolution of Marriage Take in Missouri?
You can get an uncontested divorce pretty quickly in Missouri. The state has only a 30-day waiting period (starting from when you file the initial divorce papers) before a judge may sign and enter your final dissolution judgment. (Mo. Stat. § 452.305 (2022).)
Usually, you’ll have to attend a hearing to finalize your divorce, although some Missouri counties will allow you to skip that step. Either way, the judge will review your settlement agreement and other paperwork before signing the divorce judgment. Beyond the 30-day waiting period, the actual amount of time it will take to get your final uncontested divorce will depend on the court’s schedule and caseload.
How Can I Get More Help With Missouri Online Divorce?
Missouri 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Missouri Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Missouri law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.