Missouri Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

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Missouri law allows the court to grant spousal support (also called alimony) if the circumstances of the case make it necessary. The court will consider all of the information presented by the parties and determine an arrangement based on the circumstances of the parties.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – awarded sometimes in the time prior to final divorce.
  • Short-Term – awarded on a limited time basis to help one spouse adjust.
  • Long-Term or Permanent – awarded when the court deems it is needed and appropriate.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in Missouri

Either party to a divorce may seek alimony upon dissolution. The court will consider the parties’ financial needs and all other relevant factors in determining whether alimony is appropriate.

Missouri Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

Missouri courts will consider the following factors in determining whether to grant an alimony award:

  • Financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • Time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training for employment;
  • Earning capability of each spouse;
  • Standard of living established during marriage;
  • Obligations and assets of each party;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking support;
  • Ability of the obligated spouse to meet personal needs while meeting the needs of the spouse seeking support;
  • Conduct of the parties during the marriage; and
  • Any other factors that the court finds relevant.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Missouri

Alimony in Missouri may terminate upon the death of either party, upon the remarriage of the alimony recipient, or if the court finds that termination is necessary due to change of circumstances.

Marital Fault in Missouri

Divorce may be granted on the grounds that there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved and that the marriage is thus irretrievably broken under Missouri law. If a spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the filing party must prove one of the following reasons for divorce:

  • Adultery and continuance of the marriage would be intolerable;
  • Other behavior by a spouse which makes continuance of the marriage intolerable;
  • Abandonment for at least six months prior to filing for divorce;
  • Separation by mutual consent for at least one year prior to filing for divorce; or
  • Separation for at least two years prior to filing for divorce.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Missouri?

Alimony can last for a short amount of time or for many years. Length of alimony award depends on the circumstances of the parties, length of marriage, and other factors the court determines to be important.

Missouri Alimony Taxes

A party paying support in Missouri can generally deduct payments on income taxes. The party who receives support is generally required to claim the payments as income. Discuss your case with an attorney to learn more about tax consequences.

Find an Alimony Attorney in Missouri

Discussing your divorce case with an experienced Missouri family law attorney will help you by making you aware of your rights and facets of the law you may not understand. An attorney will also advocate on your behalf and help protect your rights and property.

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