Missouri Divorce Laws on Monthly Maintenance

By Stephanie Reid

During Missouri divorce proceedings, spousal maintenance, previously called alimony, may be awarded to the spouse with a weak financial picture. The court will review a number of factors to decide whether support is appropriate and, if so, how much is necessary to meet the spouse's needs. Marital misconduct may play a part in the support order, and parties can motion the court to modify support upon the occurrence of certain conditions.

During Missouri divorce proceedings, spousal maintenance, previously called alimony, may be awarded to the spouse with a weak financial picture. The court will review a number of factors to decide whether support is appropriate and, if so, how much is necessary to meet the spouse's needs. Marital misconduct may play a part in the support order, and parties can motion the court to modify support upon the occurrence of certain conditions.

Divorce Grounds

In Missouri, spouses seeking a divorce must pursue the no-fault divorce option. The state does not have fault-based grounds for divorce so parties are basically required to cite irreconcilable differences as the cause for marital breakdown. The court reviews the evidence to decide if the marriage is irretrievably broken, and if so, issues a divorce decree. If not, the court orders a legal separation. If only one spouse wants a divorce and the other objects, the spouse seeking divorce may still obtain one, but only if she can prove adultery, behavior on the part of her spouse that makes living with him unreasonable, abandonment of at least six months, or having lived separate and apart by mutual consent for 12 months, otherwise for 24 months, immediately prior to filing for divorce.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Spousal Maintenance

The court may award spousal maintenance to the spouse who is significantly financially disadvantaged by the breakup of the marriage. That spouse must show a lack of sufficient property or financial assets; an inability to be self-supporting through employment; or she is the parent of a child of the marriage making it impracticable to seek employment outside of the home. Factors considered by the court when deciding to grant maintenance include the duration of the marriage and the level of education of the parties, their earning capacities, health and ages.

Marital Misconduct

The court can consider marital misconduct when making a determination of spousal maintenance. Under current Missouri laws, if one spouse voluntary deserts the other during the marriage or refuses to provide for or neglects his spouse, the court may award alimony to cover these damages. Other forms of marital misconduct can affect the final alimony award, including purging marital assets before the divorce or improperly increasing marital debt.

Modification of Support Order

Spousal support orders are not necessarily indefinite in duration and certain situations can result in a reduction, increase or termination of support payments. If either spouse dies, support payments are immediately terminated. Support also terminates if the supported spouse remarries or romantically cohabits with another. Either party can bring a motion in court for a modification of support in the event of a substantial change in circumstances.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Idaho Divorce & Spousal Support

References

Related articles

Petition for Alimony Modification

After divorce, life progresses as jobs and promotions are gained and lost, and health declines. Many changes affect incomes, earning capacities, as well as needs. As these changes take place, a spouse paying alimony may require a decrease in payments, or a receiving spouse may require an increase in alimony. Whether or not a court will modify an alimony order depends on the terms of the original order, the type of alimony awarded and individual circumstance. As state law governs all aspects of divorce, the paperwork and procedure for obtaining a modification can vary from state to state.

Does a Divorce in North Carolina Go by the Number of Years Married for the Wife to Ask for Alimony?

In North Carolina, the length of your marriage strongly influences whether or not the judge will award alimony. Your spouse is more likely to receive alimony if you were married for many years. However, a North Carolina judge will only order alimony if your spouse needs it and you have the ability to pay it.

How to Modify Your Divorce in Oklahoma

When a couple obtains a final divorce decree in Oklahoma, the order includes certain provisions that govern issues like child support, alimony, custody, visitation and property distribution. With the exception of property distribution, these provisions may be modified due to a change in circumstances, such as financial hardship. Parties requesting modification of a divorce decree must file their motion with the court that established the original order, detailing the nature of the request and reasons justifying modification.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Alimony Laws in Tennessee

Alimony is a monetary award paid to the financially weaker spouse after a divorce. Tennessee courts can award one of ...

Will He Still Have to Pay Alimony With a No Fault Divorce in Pennsylvania?

When spouses file for divorce in Pennsylvania, a financially weaker spouse may be entitled to alimony. Pennsylvania ...

Alimony Laws in Texas

Alimony, also called spousal maintenance in Texas, is financial support provided from one spouse to the other spouse ...

Minnesota Spousal Maintenance Laws

When spouses divorce, one spouse may be eligible for "spousal maintenance." This is money you receive from ...

Browse by category