Maintenance, sometimes called alimony or spousal support, is financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other ex-spouse. In Missouri, RSMo. 452.335 establishes the requirements for a maintenance order. In order to award maintenance, a court must find that the spouse seeking maintenance:
(1) Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to him/her, to provide for his/her reasonable needs; and
(2) Is unable to support him/herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
If the Court awards maintenance, the order will be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, after considering all relevant factors, including:
(1) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him/her, and his/her ability to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian;
(2) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
(3) The comparative earning capacity of each spouse;
(4) The standard of living established during the marriage;
(5) The obligations and assets, including the marital property apportioned to him and the separate property of each party;
(6) The duration of the marriage;
(7) The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(8) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(9) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and
(10) Any other relevant factors.
The maintenance order will state if it is modifiable or non-modifiable. The court may order maintenance which includes a termination date. Unless the maintenance order which includes a termination date is non-modifiable, the court may order the maintenance decreased, increased, terminated, extended, or otherwise modified based upon a substantial and continuing change of circumstances which occurred prior to the termination date of the original order. Additionally, maintenance will automatically terminate if the spouse receiving maintenance remarries.
If you have additional questions about maintenance, call or come visit the family law attorneys at the Paul Law Firm. Consultations are always free!