In Missouri, one of the basic requirements for a couple to be granted a divorce is relatively simple in that the marriage must be irretrievably broken. In many cases, the parties will agree that the marriage is no longer viable and will state that it is irretrievably broken, allowing them to divorce. However, in some instances, one of the parties will deny the dispute is sufficient that that the marriage is irretrievably broken. When this happens, it is important to understand how the law handles these cases and what to do next. Having legal assistance with complex divorce issues such as this is key.
When a party has denied the other party’s assertion that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will account for various factors. That includes how and why the filing was made in the first place and if there is a chance that the couple can reconcile. Evidence will be provided and after that, the court will determine if it is irretrievably broken.
To do so, the petitioner must show the court the following: that the respondent is guilty of adultery and that he or she can no longer tolerate living with the respondent; that the respondent’s behavior was such that the petitioner cannot be expected to continue living with that person; that the respondent committed abandonment for a minimum of six consecutive months before the petition was presented; that the couple lived separately by mutual agreement for at least 12 consecutive months before filing the petition; or that the parties lives separately for 24 straight months before the filing.
The court can continue the case for at least 30 days and up to six months or as soon as there is an opening on the court’s calendar. It might suggest that the parties take part in counseling. It cannot be required that they take part in counseling before there is a decree of divorce. Since one of the most common reasons for a divorce is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, it can be difficult if one spouse asserts that the marriage has reached that point and the other disagrees. When facing a divorce, it is wise to have legal help to deal with this circumstance. Calling for a consultation with a lawyer experienced in divorce issues can provide guidance.