You and your spouse have decided to split up, and all you can think about is how you will cope financially following the divorce. After all, your spouse has been the primary breadwinner during your marriage.
The good news is that you may be eligible for spousal maintenance, or spousal support, following your divorce. Here is a look at how Missouri courts handle spousal maintenance.
The purpose of spousal maintenance
Spousal maintenance is often an essential part of the marital dissolution process, as it helps to ensure that you and your spouse both have a sufficient financial foundation following your divorce.
The reality is, you might have forgone or delayed your career to remain home with the children, which means that you did not earn much money, if any, during your marriage. As a result, unlike your soon-to-be ex, you may not have the income you need to pay for your basic necessities, like housing. With spousal maintenance, you can receive the financial boost you need to support yourself directly after the divorce.
What makes you eligible for a spousal maintenance award?
A court might grant you spousal maintenance if you lack enough property or income to cover your needs. In addition, you must demonstrate that you cannot support yourself by working.
A judge will look at several factors to determine how much spousal maintenance you will receive, and how long you will receive it. For instance, he or she will look at how long it will take you to complete the training or education program required to find employment. The judge will also look at your standard of living during your marriage, as well as your earning capacity compared with that of your future ex-spouse. The length of your marriage will also impact your spousal maintenance award duration and amount.
Can you change the amount in the future?
If a family law judge in Missouri grants you spousal maintenance, the amount you receive may be either unmodifiable or modifiable. A modifiable amount is one that a judge might change to reflect any changes that have taken place in either your situation or the other party’s situation. The judge could also alter the duration of your support as needed. As a general rule of thumb, if you get remarried, this will likely end your ex’s spousal maintenance obligations.