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Is Kansas/Missouri a No-Fault Divorce State?

Aug. 26, 2021

Unhappy couple on the couchAccording to statistics from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there were 6,398 marriage dissolutions statewide in 2019, including 6,303 divorces and 95 annulments. Sometimes, things don't turn out as initially anticipated. A marriage could break down due to the fault of one spouse or when both spouses are no longer a good fit. Regardless of the reason for the marital breakdown, you don't have to continue staying in the marriage once it's broken.

If you live in Kansas or Missouri and you're considering filing for divorce/dissolution of marriage or have already started the divorce process, consulting with an experienced divorce attorney is crucial for helping you through the process. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I'm committed to guiding clients through the complexities of divorce proceedings. I'm available to discuss your unique circumstances and I can do to assist you. My firm proudly serves clients in Overland Park, Johnson County, and surrounding counties throughout Kansas and Missouri.

Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce is any divorce in which the requesting spouse is not required to prove that the other spouse's actions were responsible for the marriage breakdown. Conversely, a fault divorce is a divorce that requires the spouse asking for the divorce to show that the other spouse's actions or a singular event caused the breakdown of their marriage.

In a no-fault divorce, either spouse can file for and obtain a divorce without the consent or permission of the other spouse. In contrast, one spouse can prevent a fault divorce by refuting the allegations and convincing the judge or court that he or she isn't at fault for the marital breakdown.

Is Kansas a No-Fault Divorce State?

Kansas allows both no-fault and fault divorces. Pursuant to Kansas Statute Annotated 23-2701, a decree of divorce shall be granted by the discrete court on any of the following grounds:

  • Incompatibility ('no-fault' grounds)

  • Failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation (fault grounds)

  • Incompatibility by reason of mental illness or mental incapacity of one or both spouses (fault grounds)

Is Missouri a No-Fault Divorce State?

Missouri refers to a divorce as a dissolution of marriage. Missouri is a no-fault state. This means that either spouse can petition for dissolution of marriage and are not required to prove that the other party was responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. In a Missouri dissolution of marriage, the requesting spouse only has to claim that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and that there is no chance for a reconciliation.

Circumstances When the Missouri Court May Consider Fault

If one party denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, a Missouri court may still take fault into account. A court hearing will be scheduled in which the requesting spouse will be required to prove one or more of the following facts:

  • Your spouse has committed adultery, and you can't tolerate living with them.

  • Your spouse behaved in a way that you can't be reasonably expected to live with them.

  • Your spouse abandoned you for at least six continuous months prior to filing for divorce.

  • You and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 straight months before filing for divorce based on a mutual agreement.

  • You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for at least 24 straight months before filing for divorce without any mutual agreement.

If you can prove that at least one of the above facts is true, the judge will grant a fault-based dissolution of marriage based on Missouri Statutes Section 452.320.

Family Law Experience You Can Trust

Filing for divorce in Kansas or Missouri involves many complex procedures. Regardless of the circumstances that led to the marriage breakdown, understanding the divorce process in your state is crucial to making the process more manageable. Ron Rundberg is an an experienced family law attorney and will work with you to evaluate your options and help you make informed decisions.

At Rundberg Law, LLC, I have devoted my career to providing outstanding legal services and helping clients through this difficult transition. Together, we will determine what issues are important to you and attempt to resolve those issues on terms that are favorable to you. I will work to resolve such issues as property division, maintenance, child custody, and child support, and guide you through the important decisions about your divorce.

Contact my firm — Rundberg Law, LLC — today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment with me. I will offer you the detailed legal counsel, reliable advocacy, and support you need to make the transition as smooth as possible. My firm is proud to serve clients in Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas and surrounding counties throughout Kansas and Missouri.