O’Fallon Alimony and Spousal Support Attorneys
Divorce can upend every aspect of your life, including your financial situation. This is especially true in marriages in which one spouse was financially dependent upon the other. In these types of situations, it is often the case that one spouse decided to forgo establishing a career in order to help out with childcare or manage the household or supported the other while he or she was in school. Recognizing these kinds of circumstances have the potential to result in an unfair outcome should a marriage fail, Missouri law allows courts to award alimony (known legally as maintenance) to a spouse under certain circumstances.
Cases where alimony is at issue are often highly contested and legally complicated, so anyone who is going through a divorce that may involve a maintenance award should speak to an attorney immediately. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today.
How Do Missouri Courts Determine Maintenance Awards?
Courts in Missouri have significant discretion in determining whether and how much alimony to award in any given case. In order to award maintenance at all, it must first find that:
- The party seeking it does not have sufficient property (including marital property) to provide for his or her reasonable needs, and
- That he or she is unable to support himself or herself 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 finds these two facts to be true, it can award maintenance in an amount and for a period of time that it decides is reasonable taking into account all relevant factors, including the following:
- The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him
- The ability of the party seeking maintenance to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for child support (if the child is living with the party) includes a sum for that party as custodian
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment
- The comparative earning capacity of each spouse
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The obligations and assets, including the marital property, apportioned to him and the separate property of each party
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, and the physical and emotional condition, of the spouse seeking maintenance
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage
- Any other relevant factors
Because the court can consider so many factors, including anything it deems relevant, it is critical for parties seeking maintenance or those opposing it to retain an attorney qualified to represent them.
Contact an Alimony and Spousal Support Lawyer in O’Fallon, MO
If you are going through a divorce and believe that alimony may be an issue, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, the representation and advice of a skilled lawyer can have a significant impact on the way that the issue of maintenance is resolved in your case. We work with clients in the communities of O’Fallon, Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, Weldon Springs, St. Peters, St. Paul, Golden Eagle, and throughout St. Charles County. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, contact The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. today at 636-695-4125.