Understanding Alimony

December 16, 2014

Alimony is money paid by one spouse to another for support and to help with expenses. In the state of Missouri, alimony is now referred to as MAINTENANCE. Unlike child support, there is not a form to tell someone whether maintenance will be paid, or how much. It is completely discretionary with the Court. However, there are some factors to help determine whether maintenance will be paid and for how long:

1. The length of the marriage-- the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that maintenance will be paid.
2. The relative earnings of the parties. In other words, can each party support themselves without maintenenance?
3. The education of the parties. This factor looks to whether someone is employable by reason of education or experience
4. Any disabilities of the parties.
5. The employability of the party seeking maintenance. Were they employed during the marriage or have they taken a long break from working to care for children?

Most of the time, maintenance is MODIFIABLE. This means that the maintenance is paid until a Court terminates it or otherwise changes it. For example, if a spouse intends to go back to school, maintenance may end or lessen at some point in the future once the person has finished school.

Another important point about maintenance is that it is TAXABLE to the person receiving it and TAX DEDUCTIBLE to the person paying it.

If you have questions about alimony (maintenance) please feel free to contact our office!

Ann Littell Mills

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