File for Divorce in Cooper County, Missouri (MO) | Divorce in Cooper County

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Online Divorce in Cooper County

divorce in Cooper County

Please note: Please note: in Cooper County, Missouri, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.

The fastest and easiest way to get a divorce in Cooper County, Missouri, is refusing to contest the case. When the spouses are ready to cooperate and reach an agreement on support, property, debt, child custody, and other significant matters, they can avoid traditional divorce trials and terminate the marriage with less stress and expenses. Often, they can even go through the process without a lawyer. When it comes to out-of-court negotiations or preparing divorce documents, there are many efficient and cheap options, including counseling, mediation, and online divorce. has already helped thousands of couples in Missouri to complete and file divorce documents with the court quickly and easily. As an online document preparation service, provides a comfortable, secure, and inexpensive solution to receive the ready-to-file paperwork by email without leaving home.

This service selects and completes the legal forms, customizing them for a particular dissolution case, based upon the data provided by the customer during an online interview. Online Divorce guarantees that all of the customer's personal data and financial information will remain confidential, and that the papers will be approved by the Cooper County court with any problems. takes into account the requirements of Missouri Revised Statutes, as well as unique local rules of each county, and monitors any changes and amendments to the law to provide only relevant and correct legal forms.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Cooper County

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If a couple wants to get a divorce in Cooper County, they must provide a reason. It is possible to dissolve the marriage using any of the grounds for divorce stated in Missouri Family Law. Since Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, the spouses can obtain a divorce in Cooper County if they have "irreconcilable differences" that do not allow them to live together. This ground is considered to be no-fault because the court does not consider either of the spouses to be to blame for breaking up the marriage.

Although, indicating any fault-based ground is not required by the law, if the respondent does not agree with the no-fault ground or does not want to file for divorce, Cooper County courts shall make a finding whether or not the marriage is irretrievably broken. According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.320, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the petition, and the petitioner shall prove to the court one of the following facts:

  • The defendant committed adultery;
  • The defendant does not intend to reside with the plaintiff;
  • The defendant and the plaintiff by mutual agreement did not live together and did not cohabit for at least 12 months before filing a lawsuit;
  • The defendant left the plaintiff for at least six months and did not make contact during this period;
  • The defendant and the plaintiff lived separately and without cohabitation (without mutual consent) for at least 24 months before filing a lawsuit with a court.

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Custody of the child in Cooper County

Custody of the child in Cooper County

In a divorce in Cooper County with children involved, the parents filing for divorce should reach an agreement on the child-related matters on their own. The court typically approves this arrangement if it is fair and reasonable. Otherwise, the court shall award child custody to either parent or both of them at its discretion and based on provisions provided by Missouri Revised Statutes.

Missouri courts always consider the best interests of the child when deciding on custody. It is presumed that both parents should take an active part in the process of raising a child unless it can harm the safety of the child. This suggests that, in most cases, the court is inclined to rule in favor of joint custody. Besides, according to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.375, in a divorce with a child involved, the following factors play a crucial role in the decision-making process regarding custody:

  • the need of a child for private contact with both parents;
  • the wishes of the spouses regarding custody;
  • ability and the desires of the spouses to resolve controversial issues regarding the child peacefully;
  • mental and physical health of parents and children;
  • relationships that have developed between a child and each parent, as well as siblings;
  • habitual residence of the child;
  • the wishes of the child regarding custody;

and any other factors that the court may consider relevant.
Parents have to provide a Parenting Plan within 30 days after serving divorce papers in Cooper County. The plan should include a description of how the former spouses are going to interact when raising the child after the dissolution. Typically, this agreement contains many provisions, such as, how parents are going to share time spent with the child, how parents will resolve controversial issues in the process of education, how parents are going to divide child's expenses, and more.

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Rules for child support in Cooper County

Even after a separation, parents are responsible for their minor child, and this also applies to the financial support of the child. Financial support can be provided by either or both parents following the divorce.

According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.340, in a divorce Cooper County, the court shall order to pay a reasonable or necessary amount of child support, without regard to marital misconduct, but after considering all significant factors including:

  • the financial needs and resources of the child;
  • the financial resources and needs of the parents;
  • the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage not been dissolved;
  • the physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs;
  • the child's physical and legal custody arrangements, including the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

To determine the exact amount of child support, the Missouri courts use the Income Shares Model. This model includes various tables for calculating the amount based on the number of minor children and the total gross income of the parents.

Rules for spousal support in Cooper County

Rules for spousal support in Cooper County

In a divorce proceeding in Cooper County, either spouse may request alimony (spousal support). Although circumstances leading to the intention to receive maintenance may be different, they all assume that the party seeking alimony is financially dependent after the dissolution of marriage.

In particular, according to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.335, either spouse may be awarded alimony in a divorce case if it is shown that:

  • the party cannot support himself/herself;
  • he or she lacks sufficient property (including his or her share of any marital property) to provide for his or her needs;
  • the party is the primary custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse to stay at home.

If awarding alimony is considered reasonable, the court may order maintenance for various periods after considering all the relevant factors:

  • the length of the marriage (for instance, spousal maintenance may not exceed five years in case of divorce after 7-10 years of marriage; seven years for a marriage of 10-17 years, and 10 years for a marriage longer than 17 years);
  • the financial resources of each party;
  • time and money needed for a requesting spouse to become financially independent;
  • the standard of living during the marriage;
  • age, the physical and mental performance of each party;
  • the property that each spouse received after the division, as well as separate property;
  • and other factors that the court may deem equitable.

Depending on the situation, the court determines the length of alimony. This can be either monthly maintenance stretched out over a specified period of time or a one-time payment. But it should be emphasized that regardless of the court's withdrawal, alimony ceases as soon as the spouse receiving the payments remarries.

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Property division in Cooper County

Property division in Cooper County

Under the Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.330, Missouri courts follow the principles of equitable distribution.

How the property is divided in a divorce in Cooper County may be determined by the parties themselves in their Settlement Agreement, and the Circuit Court typically accepts it. However, if the spouses cannot agree, the judge will divide the assets within the Judgment of Divorce.

Even though Missouri is an equitable distribution state, this does not mean that all property will be divided evenly. It is also worth noting that not all property is subject to division.

There are three main stages into which the process of separation is divided:

1. The court singles out what is common property (meaning everything acquired during the marriage), and what is separate (property that was acquired before the marriage or in the marriage but through gift or inheritance). This is done because, according to the law, only the marital property can be divided. Similarly, the court proceeds with debts.
2. After all common property is revealed, the court assigns it a monetary equivalent.
3. Finally, the court proceeds to the analysis of various factors that have developed during the marriage period.
As provided in Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.330, these factors are the following:

  • the efforts that each spouse has invested in the acquisition of every property, including the efforts of the spouses as homemakers to maintain the property;
  • the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of the entry into force of the decision regarding separation;
  • the conduct of each spouse during the marriage;
  • the place of residence of a minor child and custody arrangement;
  • the contribution that each spouse has made to increase the value of the marital property.

Mediation support in Cooper County

When spouses apply for divorce in Cooper County, Missouri, they may resort to mediation. Mediation is a non-competitive process, in which a neutral third party helps the couple reach a compromise and write up a Settlement Agreement.

In Cooper County, mediation is typically a voluntary process. Yet, if the spouses have minor children, the court rules require a minimum of two hours of mediation for disputed matters concerning child custody, visitation, and support.

Besides, all the divorcing spouses who have children 17 years and younger have to attend parenting classes.

How to file for divorce in Cooper County | Step-by-Step


To be eligible for getting a divorce in Cooper County, the spouses have to meet the Missouri residency requirements.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes, Sec. 452.300, either party must have been a resident of the state for at least ninety days before filing a petition with a court.
Having met the state residency requirement, the petitioner can file the petition with the Cooper County court, if either spouse currently resides within the county.


To start a divorce process in Cooper County, Missouri, the plaintiff has to fill out and file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage along with the other required divorce forms with the Circuit Court. If both parties agree about the terms of the dissolution from the beginning, they can file a petition jointly. It usually takes less time to get a divorce in Cooper County if the spouses are co-petitioners.
The needed templates may be found in the self-help section of the Missouri Courts website. And those spouses who want to go through the filing process fast and effortlessly can trust all the paperwork matters to


When the documents are filed, a court filing fee is charged and the divorce procedure in Cooper County officially starts. The next step, if the petition was filed by a sole applicant, the plaintiff has to decide how to serve the other spouse with copies of the papers In Cooper County, Missouri, the procedure of serving divorce papers can be accomplished by one of the following methods:

-  county sheriff's service (the sheriff will charge an additional fee);

-  private process server (an extra price is also assumed);

-  if the other party cannot be located, the court shall permit the plaintiff to publish a notice of the case in a local newspaper and further qualify for a default divorce.
Once the defendant is served, he or she has to complete and file the response (Answer to the Petition of Dissolution form), as acknowledging receipt of the petition. Missouri law gives the defendant 30 days to respond. The spouses who are co-petitioners waive their right to service of process.


Any divorce case (whether it is a single or joint-petition divorce) cannot be finalized earlier than 30 days after the filing in Cooper County. The state of Missouri requires a mandatory 30-days waiting period for all couples seeking a dissolution of marriage.


After the waiting period, the court appoints a court hearing. Uncontested hearings are typically brief - the petitioner or co-petitioners just give some testimony. If the Settlement Agreement and other documents are in order, the judge signs the Judgment of Dissolution.

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Contested Divorce

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Contested divorces can be lengthy and costly due to spouses being unable to agree on one or more key issues, including child custody, property division, or spousal support.

  • Offline and inconvenient process in which both parties often hire attorneys to represent their interests.
  • The adversarial nature of a contested divorce can lead to heightened emotional stress and strain for both spouses and their families.
  • Absent a settlement, the final divorce judgment and terms are determined by the court, which may not fully align with the preferences of either spouse.

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  • Receive ready-to-file forms specific to your jurisdiction and situation.
  • Easy online access for both spouses, free revisions for 30 days, and the ability to save your data longer term. Experienced customer support via chat and phone.
  • Ancillary services to ensure optimal outcomes, including name changes, co-parenting support, and getting started with your life after divorce.
  • Detailed instructions on how to file with the court or the option to purchase our filing service.

Filing fees for divorce in Cooper County

How much a divorce will cost in Cooper County depends on many conditions. In particular, the cost of dissolution is much higher if the case is contested, while a DIY divorce without a lawyer is the most affordable option. However, no matter what type of dissolution the spouses choose, they have to pay the court filing fee to proceed. The average cost of filing fees in Missouri is $163.

How long will it take?

How long it takes to finalize a divorce in Cooper County depends on whether the spouses are co-petitioners or not, as well as whether they are going to contest the case. An average uncontested divorce in Cooper County takes a little over 30 days to be final since the state of Missouri requires a waiting period before the court can schedule the final hearing.

Filing for divorce in Cooper County | Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a divorce cost in Cooper County?
The cost of dissolution in Cooper County starts with a court filing fee, but further expenses are hard to predict. Many alternative options are available - from DIY-divorce to traditional litigation, so the costs vary greatly. The cheapest option is a DIY process, and even if the spouses resort to additional services, like counseling, mediation, or online document preparation, it is still much cheaper than hiring an attorney.

How do you file for divorce in Cooper County without a lawyer?
In Cooper County, the spouses are eligible to file for dissolution of marriage without any legal representatives. If the case is uncontested and the spouses reach an agreement on the essential terms of their separation, they may complete the forms without any assistance or by using, following their provided step-by-step guidance through the process.

What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Cooper County?
Some of the most common legal forms required to getting a divorce in Missouri include:

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Statement of Income and Expense
  • Statement of Property and Debt and the Proposed Separation Agreement
  • Missouri Department of Health Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage
  • Family Court Filing Certificate
  • Judgment of Dissolution
  • Parenting Plan
  • Answer to the Petition of Dissolution

Can I file for legal separation in Cooper County, Missouri?
Missouri Revised Statutes recognizes a procedure for legal separation as an alternative to the dissolution of marriage. In the state of Missouri, legal separation is called separate maintenance.
Signing a Separation Agreement, the spouses can resolve property, debt, and child-related matters, but remain married in the eyes of the law.

When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
Missouri Family Law does not require any restrictions or waiting period for remarriage after a dissolution is final.
However, it is worth knowing that some of the dissolution arrangements might be reexamined if either party enters a new marriage too quickly.

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Divorce Courts in Cooper County, Missouri

18th Judicial Circuit Court
Clerk Name:
Nancy Fisher
Court Address:
200 Main, Boonville, Missouri 65233
Clerk Hours: