Spousal Maintenance, also known as alimony, is payment made by a husband or wife to their former spouse following their divorce. In Missouri, there is not a set calculation to determine Spousal Maintenance. Judges typically evaluate case-by-case whether or not you will be paying (or receiving) maintenance, and, if so, how much. The following are some factors that contribute to most spousal maintenance decisions:
- Earning Capacity
Do you hold a college degree with 20 years of experience in your career field? Has your spouse sacrificed his or her career to stay home and raise children? Judges usually take each spouses earning capacity into consideration when determining spousal maintenance. Earning capacity is a person’s ability to generate an income based on their skills, education, and experience. A working spouse may be ordered to pay their Ex, who worked as a homemaker and stay-at-home-parent, spousal maintenance until that spouse acquires the education or experience needed to support themselves.
- Property Division
Property division can also play a crucial role when calculating spousal maintenance. If one spouse is awarded a larger portion of the marital property, this could affect the amount of spousal maintenance paid. For instance, if your spouse receives property (a rental home, a portion of a business, etc.) that is capable of bringing in revenue, then the judge may award a lower maintenance payment.
- The Standard of Living during the Marriage
The judge frequently considers the standard of living during the marriage and the length of the marriage. Your spousal maintenance will reflect the economic circumstances of your union. Because Missouri law gravitates towards what is “equitable”, the judge will attempt to calculate an amount that allows both you and your former spouse to enjoy the same standard of living that you did during the marriage.