Divorce comes with a myriad financial concerns. If you are the lesser earning spouse, you may be wondering how you will support yourself after the divorce is final. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance.
The financial aspects of divorce are complicated, and it is wise to protect your rights and long-term interests by securing the help of an experienced family law attorney. In Missouri, the judge has broad discretion when it comes to granting spousal support, but with help, you can fight for the financial security you need.
Factors that may influence spousal support
When deciding whether to grant spousal support, the judge will consider the following factors:
- The ages of the two spouses
- The length of the marriage
- The current and future earning capacities of both spouses
- The property owned by both spouses
- Family obligations
If you stayed at home with the children or you earned significantly less than your spouse, you may have a strong claim to spousal support. The intent of alimony is to counter any unfair economic effects of a divorce, and while there may be sufficient grounds for spousal maintenance, it is not a guarantee. A lawyer can help protect your right to financial support after your divorce or explain your potential financial obligations.
Spousal support is either permanent or temporary, depending on the lesser-earning spouse's future earning potential, age and ability to get a job. If granted on a temporary basis, it will last for a period sufficient for training, schooling and obtaining a job. If the receiving spouse remarries, it will result in the termination of spousal support payments.
A strong financial future after your divorce
Divorce will bring significant financial changes, and it may result in an adjustment of lifestyle and expectations for the future. If you believe you could be eligible for spousal support after your divorce or believe that maintenance could become a contested issue in your divorce, it is important to seek the opinion of a legal professional regarding your rights and options.
Spousal support rights may be a complicated issue in your divorce, but it is possible to resolve these matters as either part of a negotiated settlement or though litigation. You have the right to a strong financial future and to fight for any rightful support.