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Navigating divorce in Missouri: Alimony for homemakers

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Divorce |

Financial considerations during a divorce often add another layer of stress to an already challenging situation. This can be especially true for spouses who may have made sacrifices during the marriage that impacted their earning potential. Thankfully, however, in Missouri, a spouse who dedicated themselves to homemaking duties may be eligible for spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, during a divorce.

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is financial support paid by one spouse to another after a divorce or separation. In Missouri, alimony is generally awarded to provide financial assistance to a spouse unable to support themselves adequately after their marriage ends. The purpose of court-ordered alimony (spouses can alternatively agree to alimony terms for whatever reasons they please) is usually to help the recipient spouse maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage.

Understanding spousal maintenance

The Show-Me State is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the court does not consider reasons for the divorce when awarding alimony. Instead, the focus is on helping to ensure a fair financial outcome for both parties moving forward.

Spousal maintenance aims to provide financial assistance to a spouse who lacks the resources to maintain their reasonable needs following the divorce. This can be particularly relevant for spouses who gave up their careers or significantly reduced their earning potential to raise children or manage the household.

Qualifying for Alimony as a Homemaker

There is no guaranteed right to spousal maintenance in the Show-me State. The court will consider several factors to determine if alimony is appropriate and, if so, the payment amount and duration.

Generally, longer marriages increase the likelihood of spousal maintenance being awarded. This is because a spouse who stayed home for a significant period may have difficulty re-entering the workforce or may have a lower earning capacity due to the career gap.

The court will compare the incomes and earning potentials of both spouses. A significant difference in income can support the argument that the homemaker spouse requires financial assistance to maintain their standard of living after the divorce.

The court recognizes the value of homemaking. Taking care of the children, managing the household and supporting the other spouse’s career are all considered contributions to the marriage.

Divorce can be challenging, but understanding one’s options for spousal maintenance can help alleviate some of the financial stress. Spouses who have dedicated themselves to homemaking during their marriage in Missouri may be eligible for alimony. Consulting with a reliable legal team can help to determine eligibility and better ensure a secure financial future.

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