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Do alimony and divorce go hand in hand?

Ending one's marriage can be a difficult thing. Figuring out how to support oneself after divorce can be even harder for a number of Missouri residents. Some may expect alimony to help them as they work to move forward, but do alimony and divorce go hand in hand?

The truth is, no, they do not. Just because one is getting a divorce, it does not mean the court will automatically award spousal support. It is something for which one must qualify.

So, how does one qualify for spousal support? In order to achieve alimony, several factors will first need to be considered. These include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Income level of both spouses
  • One's work history
  • One's post-divorce expenses
  • Age
  • Health concerns
  • Education level
  • Education need

If, based on the information gathered, the court decides alimony is warranted, it will be up to the court to determine how much is to be provided and for how long. Usually, spousal support is only granted for a short while -- just long enough to help the receiving spouse get on his or her feet. However, there are reasons as to why a long-term or permanent order may be issued -- such as to help maintain marital lifestyle, age or disability.

Those in Missouri who are unsure if they are entitled to receive alimony as part of their divorce settlements can speak to an experienced family law attorney who will be able to review their situations and offer counsel. If it is determined that a spousal support request is within reason, one's legal counsel can help file the appropriate motion in court. If such a request does not receive approval, it may be possible to appeal the decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Are You Entitled To Alimony (Spousal Support)?," accessed on Jan. 22, 2018

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