Deciding to end a marriage is a significant and often challenging decision. In Missouri, the process of divorce involves many considerations and legal procedures. Misconceptions can complicate an already difficult time, potentially leading to unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding.
It is helpful to understand some of the common misconceptions associated with filing for divorce in Missouri so you can make more informed decisions and ensure a smoother transition toward your new life.
Misconception 1: Divorce requires fault
A common misconception is that you need to prove your spouse was at fault to file for divorce in Missouri. In reality, Missouri is a “no-fault” state. This means that you do not need to provide a specific reason for the divorce beyond the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Misconception 2: The mother always gets custody
Another misconception is that mothers always get primary custody of children. The truth is, Missouri courts prioritize the best interests of the child above all else. They consider many factors, including the wishes of the child, the parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs and the stability of each parent’s home environment.
Misconception 3: Divorce always leads to financial ruin
While it is true that divorce can bring financial changes, it does not have to result in financial disaster. Missouri courts strive to distribute marital property equitably between both parties. Factors such as each spouse’s economic circumstances, contributions to the marriage and the value of non-marital property can affect this distribution.
Misconception 4: All divorces end up in court
A common belief is that all divorces end up in a courtroom battle. However, many couples in Missouri resolve their issues through negotiation or mediation. These alternatives to court can save time, money and emotional stress.
Breaking away from these misconceptions about divorce can empower you to make the best decisions for your unique circumstances.