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St. Charles Alimony / Spousal Support Lawyer
One of the biggest financial issues divorcing couples face is whether they will have to pay spousal support or whether they are qualified to receive it. Spousal support, formerly known as alimony, is a monthly maintenance payment made by one spouse to assist the other spouse with living expenses. In Missouri, spousal support or maintenance depends on a variety of factors.
The court must first determine whether the spouse requesting support:
- lacks sufficient property, including received marital property, to provide for their reasonable needs
- cannot support themselves through a suitable job or is the caretaker of a child whose condition makes it difficult for the parent to find employment outside the home.
This is frequently the case with a mother who put her career aside to stay home for her children or to support her spouse who was in school, giving up her opportunity to gain financial stability.
If the conditions mentioned above meets the expectations of the court, it can grant support in the amount and duration that it determines is reasonable. The court will assess any and all pertinent factors, including but not limited to:
- the time required to obtain adequate education and training to enable the dependent spouse to find a suitable job
- the income and assets of each spouse (including separate, disability, retirement income)
- the current earning capacity of each spouse and their capability to earn in the future
- the standard of living maintained by the couple during the marriage
- the assets and liabilities, including the marital property awarded to the dependent spouse, as well as each party’s separate property
- the age, and the physical and emotional condition of the dependent spouse
- the conduct of the couple during their marriage
- the duration of the marriage
- the custody of any children
- the need to pay for a child’s medical treatment, daycare, and other additional expenses
- the care of children, stepchildren, or aged parents that may restrict a spouse’s earning capability
- the tax consequences for both spouses
- contributions made by the spouse as a wage earner, parent, and homemaker towards the other spouse’s career
- the capability of the dependent spouse to become self-sufficient in the future
- other relevant factors presented as evidence
A Missouri judge may consider any factors he or she sees as appropriate when considering a request for maintenance. Our spousal support lawyers will carefully examine your personal situation to ensure that the judge is notified of any and all information relating to your case. In many instances, seeking the representation and advice of an experienced attorney can have a crucial impact on the way the maintenance issue is resolved in your case.
Two types of spousal maintenance
The order awarding spousal maintenance must also specify whether the award is modifiable or non-modifiable. It is important to know the two types of maintenance:
- Modifiable maintenance is flexible and can be changed from month to month according to need.
- Non-modified maintenance is binding and sets a specific amount for a fixed period of time.
Can spousal maintenance be modified?
Maintenance terms may be modified or spousal support terminated if circumstances for both spouses have changed. This may include changes in either spouse’s financial resources. Otherwise, maintenance may go on until the death of one of the spouses.
The terms for modification will be specified in detail in your spousal maintenance agreement. Most agreements can be modified, especially in cases where the dependent spouse remarries. Similar to custody and child support, any modifications made to your spousal maintenance agreement must be heard by a Missouri court.
Showing proof to qualify for spousal support
For a spouse to qualify for monthly spousal support payments, they must provide evidence that they do not have sufficient property required to accommodate their own needs. This will include property received as part of the divorce decree. They must also show adequate proof as to why they may not be able to support themselves through a regular job.
Spousal support is not required by law to be awarded in every legal separation or divorce proceeding. The need for spousal support can be hard to prove, and even harder if you try to modify an existing maintenance order. Our firm will help you gather and present the required proof to ensure that you receive the financial support you need.
St. Charles Alimony/Spousal Support Lawyer
Alimony cases are often disputed and involve complicated legal issues. Anyone dealing with spousal support should consult a family law attorney at once.
Our firm has experience in representing both parties in spousal support mediations and with representing an individual spouse in court if need be. Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options, along with the practical solutions to your legal problems.
Shea Kohl Law, LC can help you determine whether spousal support is appropriate in your case. Our law firm’s knowledge and experience in spousal support agreements can help increase your chances of achieving the financial help you deserve.
Schedule a free no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers. Contact our office at (636) 946-9999 or email us by using our online contact form.
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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.