Suggested CAFC001 – Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Proposed Changes to CAFC001 – Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

These changes are of a minor nature.  They are as follows:

1. Remove the words “Count I” from the title of the pleading.  It will now simply state “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.”  Previously a paternity count would have to be added in appropriate circumstances, but revisions to court operating rules now require a separate paternity case to be filed, so the multiple counts would not seem to be appropriate any longer.

2.  Eliminate the words “This person(s) and this child must be joined as parties in this proceeding if Husband is not the father of this child” from 38i, 39i, 40i, and 41i as they no longer are correct.  See above.

3. Eliminate the words “Attach a copy of the birth certificate to this petition.”  When the statutes were amended in August, 2009, birth dates and social security numbers of the minor children were eliminated from the petition.  The current version of the petition would require this information to be attached to the petition in some circumstances.

4.  The prayer for relief should be changed.

The court would always grant the first four items in every dissolution of marriage.  We do not want the petitioner to be able to uncheck this option.  We could eliminate the check boxes completely, but on our most recent forms that we approved, we used the permanently checked boxes to emphasize that the court must make these orders.

Additionally, we have eliminated the “If you are the wife . . .” language in connection with the restoration of a former name to make the forms gender neutral.  A man could change his name at the time of marriage and seek restoration of his former name at the time of the dissolution.  The option of maiden name of former name is eliminated.

Additionally, we have added language requesting attorney’s fees.  This has been brought up several times by judges and lawyers since the last revision of the forms, and it would seem appropriate since we have a signature block for attorneys on the form.  This language is similar to that approved on more recent forms.

5.  All statutory references have been changed from RSMo. § to §, RSMo.  These changes were requested by the court when they approved the last set of forms.

[Current version 431 – New version 441]

Current Approved Version

Suggested Version

2 Responses to Suggested CAFC001 – Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

  1. heather harris says:

    I was trying to fill out divorce papers and have them served to my husband John harris. He is incarcerated. We have no children involved. If you can call me xxx-xxx-xxxxx and maybe you can help. Thanks.

    • Judge Dennis Neil Smith says:

      My first suggestion would be that you hire an attorney. They are trained to help you. If you cannot afford an attorney you might contact legal aid.

      I suggest you visit the official Missouri Supreme Court website at and complete the litigant awareness program. You are required to do this at some point and it will give you valuable information before you begin. You can also access the current approved forms there. The current approved forms are also available at this site by clicking here:

      I deleted your phone number so you would not receive any unwanted phone contact.

      I hope this helps.

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