Spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony, may be a contentious issue in your divorce. It will be important to have a professional negotiator representing your interests, since your spousal maintenance agreement will also affect your property division agreement. The quality and effectiveness of your attorney can be a significant influence on how much maintenance is paid and for how long.
At Lance A. Riddle Law Office, Attorneys at Law, we work to sculpt your initial agreement in ways that are advantageous to both your short- and long-term interests as either the paying or receiving party of maintenance payments.
Reasons for spousal maintenance may include a disproportionate property division agreement, financial aid to an ex-spouse who needs time to become self-sufficient at a reasonably comparable standard of living as enjoyed during marriage or aid to an ex-spouse who has limited earning ability.
How Long Do Spousal Maintenance Payments Last?
If maintenance is awarded, payments generally last until the receiving party remarries, cohabitates with another person in a romantic relationship or dies. However, it may be possible to reduce or terminate payments if you can successfully argue that the receiving party no longer needs maintenance payments.
The Missouri Court's Factors In Determining Spousal Maintenance Payments
The judge will consider several factors in determining the monthly amount and duration of maintenance payments, including:
- Your division of property agreement
- Earning capacity and education level of each spouse
- Contributions of each party to the education, job training or increased earning power of the other spouse
- The feasibility of the spouse seeking maintenance to become self-sufficient in a reasonable time frame
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Tax consequences of maintenance payments
- Any other relevant facts
Your divorce lawyer should know with reasonable certainty how each of these factors will be evaluated by the court. Attorney Lance A. Riddle knows the courts in Johnson County and throughout central Missouri well. We can help you make the informed decisions necessary to secure a spousal maintenance agreement that meets your goals or avoid spousal maintenance altogether in certain circumstances.
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