After the United States Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex marriage, individuals of the same sex could legally marry in Missouri. At the same time, Missouri law began allowing same-sex couples to get divorced.
The laws governing divorce are the same for LGBTQ couples as any others. The parties’ marital assets get divided by agreement, by court order, or through mediation.
Agreement of the parties
If the divorcing spouses have a prenuptial agreement, this contract will govern the distribution of marital assets. Otherwise, the parties can negotiate a settlement and memorialize the agreed-upon allocation in a property settlement agreement. The divorce court would need to approve any property settlement agreement.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court will have to determine how to distribute the marital assets. The judge will consider the contribution each spouse made to the marriage, the post-marriage economic condition of each party, the value of property available to each spouse outside the marriage, the actions of each party and who has custody of any minor children.
Division through mediation
If the two spouses cannot reach a property settlement agreement on their own, mediation is a good option. Divorcing couples can opt to go through mediation to reach an agreement on all issues at stake in the divorce. A mediator offers an impartial forum for both sides to explain their position and allows both parties input on determining the outcome.
The remedy of divorce is now available to same-sex couples in Missouri for anyone looking to end their marriage legally.