Since 1949, the Department of Health and Senior Services has been the official state registrar for dissolution of marriage records (Missouri Revised Statute, Chapter 193, Section 205). “A record of each dissolution of marriage and annulment of marriage granted by any court in this state shall be filed by the clerk of the court with the department and shall be registered if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section.” The court that issued the decree is responsible for forwarding reports to the department.

Reports of dissolution of marriage document some of the social characteristics of a population, such as number of previous marriages, number of minor children affected, level of education, type of decree, duration of marriage, etc.