Can you ask for alimony as a stay-at-home parent facing divorce?

| Oct 12, 2020 | family law

Domestic work is demanding and accrues without stopping. For some couples where both spouses work, they may agree to split certain household duties between themselves and outsource other tasks to professional house cleaning services or child care facilities.

However, paying someone else to cook, clean or watch your kids can consume a substantial amount of your household income. Many people find that it is more cost-effective to just have one spouse either work part-time or leave the workforce entirely in order to manage household responsibilities.

If you have been a stay-at-home parent or spouse during your marriage, will you have the right to claim alimony or spousal support in a Missouri divorce?

The Missouri family courts do grant alimony in some cases

Child support is mandatory and automatic, which means that if you get divorced when you have kids, there will be a child support order in most circumstances. You don’t have to ask for child support in order for the courts to order it, and you likely don’t have the right to waive your spouse’s obligation to pay child support.

Spousal support is different. You have to actively request it to have any chance of getting it, and there is no guarantee that the courts will approve your request. They will look carefully at your individual and family circumstances before deciding whether to grant alimony, how long it will last and how much your spouse will pay.

What factors affect the duration and amount of alimony?

When looking at an alimony request, the Missouri family courts will consider everything from the length of your marriage and your health to the custody of your children and spousal misconduct.

In most states, a spouse’s cheating will have little impact on alimony requests. However, if you file for divorce because your spouse cheated on you while you were staying home to support the family, the courts may consider that when deciding how to address alimony.

The greater your need for alimony, the more important it is to build a strong case for yourself. Getting help early in the divorce process can help you set the stage for a successful divorce and alimony request.

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