Missouri Alimony Questions Answered
For anyone contemplating divorce, the list of questions about how to proceed and what to expect may seem endless. In particular, concerns about financial arrangements loom because both parties will be affected by them to a rather large extent. When it comes to spousal support, it’s worth understanding Missouri law in order to gauge expectations appropriately. Let’s take a look at common questions and the way things are handled here in the Show-me State.
What is the point of alimony?
Alimony is awarded in order to prevent one spouse from suffering too much of a financial hardship following divorce. While many couples both work outside the home these days, the lesser-earning one is at a marked disadvantage following divorce.
Is there more than one kind of alimony?
Yes. There are three types of alimony, and they may be mixed and matched in some cases. The first is temporary alimony, which is designed to address immediate financial needs of one spouse when the divorce is pending. Next is periodic alimony, which is awarded to a spouse who is working to develop marketable skills or education in order to ultimately become financially independent. Permanent support is generally awarded to individuals in long-term marriages when one spouse might not be able to support themselves due to age, time out of the workforce, or disability.
What does the court consider when looking at alimony requests?
A number of factors come under consideration, most of which are related to each individual’s ability to achieve financial independence after the divorce. Does one partner lack that ability? If so, what kind of education or training would improve the situation? Will child-rearing responsibilities make working impossible? What other financial obligations exist? What was the standard of living during the marriage? Will the higher-earning spouse be able to maintain a level of independence in the face of making alimony payments? Did one spouse support another through school and job promotions? Finally, how long was the marriage, and was there any domestic violence, infidelity, or other misconduct during the marriage?
Will the court punish a spouse who engaged in misconduct by making them pay alimony?
The key factors in alimony determination are related to financial matters. Misconduct is only a small portion of the consideration. So no, there is no guarantee that it will result in alimony payments or the denial thereof.
Are men always the ones who pay and women the ones who receive alimony?
No. Either partner can make a request for alimony. It is based on the needs of one party compared to the financial stability of another. More and more, men are choosing to stay home to raise children, or women are simply out-earning their spouses. Situations like these make it likely the court may deem it necessary for a woman to make alimony payments.
Are there rules about how much is too much to pay in alimony?
Yes. The recipient of maintenance payments cannot be paid an amount that would make total earnings + maintenance exceed 40 percent of the couple’s combined income.
For More Information…
While we’ve only skimmed the surface of the alimony issue, our experienced Springfield spousal support attorneys at Courtney & Mills are prepared to conduct an in-depth discussion and address your concerns today. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office for more.