Spousal Support Attorney Serving Kansas City, Missouri
Spousal support, also known as alimony and spousal maintenance, is commonly awarded to one spouse when their marriage ends in divorce. However, alimony is not a guarantee in every divorce proceeding. Rather, Missouri courts award spousal support when one spouse is in need of financial assistance after the dissolution of marriage.
Whether you are seeking alimony or being asked to financially support your soon-to-be-former spouse, you might want to seek legal counsel. As a spousal support attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, I can help you achieve a fair spousal support arrangement. I will take the time to understand your situation and your needs to help you get the most out of your alimony agreement.
At Maria Dugan Law, I represent spouses in divorce and family law matters throughout the state of Missouri, including Jackson County, Lafayette County, Platte County, Clay County, Blue Springs, Independence, and Grain Valley.
Overview of Spousal Support in Missouri
Spousal support is financial aid that one spouse may be ordered to pay the other spouse after the dissolution of their marriage. The amount of spousal support and how long alimony should last is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the unique circumstances of the couple. In order to obtain spousal support, one spouse must prove that they lack sufficient resources to meet their financial needs.
There are three types of alimony:
Permanent (long-term). As the name implies, this type of spousal support is paid until the supported spouse’s death. Depending on the arrangement, permanent alimony may end when the supported spouse reaches retirement age or gets remarried. However, it is very rare for this type of alimony to be granted in Missouri.
Rehabilitative (short-term). This type of alimony is awarded with the intention of providing one spouse with needed financial support for a limited amount of time. Generally, rehabilitative maintenance ends when the dependent spouse is able to support himself or herself.
Temporary. This type of alimony may be awarded while a dissolution of marriage is pending. Thus, when the divorce proceedings end, the payments will generally stop.
In most cases, the duration of alimony is calculated based on the amount of time needed for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting or may be awarded with a fixed termination date.
Who Is Entitled to Spousal Support?
As mentioned earlier, spousal support is not a guaranteed part of the divorce. The spouse seeking alimony, regardless of gender, must prove their eligibility for spousal maintenance by showing that he or she:
Does not have sufficient property, including marital property, to provide for his/her financial needs; and
Cannot reasonably support himself/herself through employment or has been designated as the custodian of a child whose circumstances make them unable to work outside of home.
If both of these conditions are met, the court is likely to award alimony. Keep in mind that courts in Missouri have broad discretion in whether or not spousal maintenance should be awarded. If you want to know whether you or your spouse is eligible for alimony, you might want to consult with a spousal support attorney in Kansas City, Missouri.
How Is Spousal Support Determined?
When making decisions regarding spousal support, judges in Missouri consider a wide range of relevant factors, including:
The requesting spouse’s financial resources, property, and ability to support themselves independently;
The other spouse’s ability to meet their own financial needs while supporting their ex-spouse;
The spouse’s age and health, including their physical and emotional condition;
How much time would be necessary for the requesting spouse to obtain sufficient education or job skills to find gainful employment;
The standard of living established during the marriage;
The length of the marriage; and
Each spouse’s conduct during the marriage.
While judges consider the spouses’ conduct when awarding spousal support, they do not normally punish spouses for misconduct such as adultery during the marriage. Thus, it is very unlikely that a spouse’s misconduct will have a significant impact on the judge’s decision regarding alimony unless the conduct affected the couple’s finances.
Making Changes to the Current Alimony/Spousal Support Agreement
If spousal support is awarded as part of the dissolution of the marriage, either party may still be able to request changes to the current spousal support arrangement unless the order specifically stipulates that the arrangement is non-modifiable.
The spouse requesting changes to the current alimony arrangement must prove a substantial and continuing change of circumstances, such as the payor spouse’s loss of job or disability. Consider speaking with an experienced attorney if you need help making changes to your current alimony agreement as the dependent or the payor spouse.
Spousal Support Attorney Serving Kansas City, Missouri
If you expect to need spousal maintenance after your divorce or are concerned that you will be ordered to pay alimony, I am here to help. As a spousal support attorney at Maria Dugan Law, I can explain the law and the possible outcomes in your specific case. I can also help you put together a strong case to help you achieve your desired outcome. Contact my office in Kansas City, Missouri, for a consultation.