Alimony in Missouri 2018-01-05T17:08:45+00:00


In Missouri, Alimony is the same thing as maintenance and spousal support.  They are three different words that mean the same thing, alimony, maintenance and spousal support.  Maintenance is NOT child support. These are two different things entirely.

When two people separate and/or divorce, there are times where one of the parties will be ordered by a judge to pay the other party monthly payments.  The legal system calls this maintenance or spousal support in Missouri.  The purpose of maintenance is to allow the party that is financially disadvantaged by the separation of financial assets to receive money from the other spouse who is deemed to be financially able to provide this support.

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Maintenance isn’t awarded automatically by the court and either party is eligible to receive maintenance.  The measurement of who will pay who is dependent on both spouses incomes.  If one party earns considerably less than the other party or one of the parties doesn’t work outside the home, the court may award maintenance to soften the financial impact of the divorce and help the lower income person to transition into financial independence.  As more and more homes have two income producers in the home it is becoming more and more infrequent for maintenance to be awarded.

It is important to know that Missouri courts have discretion in whether or not maintenance payments are awarded and having RS Law skilled Family divorce lawyer is more important than ever in a case where you facing the possibility of having to pay alimony or you are the one who needs to receive alimony.

The things a judge must consider when deciding on whether or not maintenance will be awarded in a particular divorce case are varied.  If the judge thinks the party is unable to support themselves through their job or the property their receive from the division of assets in the divorce then maintenance will be considered.  A party that takes care of a young or a disabled child are often considered unable to support themselves for the duration of time that the child needs full-time care.  Judges do have discretion on how long a person will receive maintenance and how much they can receive.  Maintenance can be either temporary or permanent and can also be modified.  A modification will address the issues associated with changes in either party’s personal finance situation.

Things that a judge will consider while deciding on ordering maintenance payments are:

  • The financial situation of the person who will be receiving maintenance payments. This will also include  child support payments
  • How long it may take for the person who will be receiving maintenance payment to receive an education or to develop job skills
  • Evaluation of both party’s earning capacity The standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage
  • How long the parties were married
  • An evaluation of both parties debts and assets
  • The age, health and emotional condition of the person who will be receiving maintenance payment
  • How well the person making maintenance payments can meet their own financial responsibilities while also paying maintenance
  • The behavior of both parties during the marriage
  • And anything else the court determines is relevant

It is more likely that an older spouse who hasn’t worked outside the home in a long time would be awarded maintenance than a younger spouse or someone with good earning potential.  Sometimes the courts will award maintenance for a short period of time to allow the other party to complete a job training or until a child is old enough that it doesn’t require constant care.

Permanent maintenance will end when the receiving spouse remarries or dies.

Your best chance to receive an award of maintenance or avoid paying maintenance is to work with RS Law so we can present the best argument possible to the court.  We will do this by providing a complete overview of your finances, employment skills and financial obligations to the court and well as the same for the other party.  RS Law has handled many Missouri divorces with complex financial challenges as well as divorces that deal with large amounts of assets and debts and some that involve multi-million dollar businesses.

Not having RS Law involved in your divorce could be one of the most expensive mistakes you can make.  Call now for a consultation.