St. Louis Divorce Lawyers

St. Louis Divorce Attorneys Explain Spousal Support

Formerly known as alimony, spousal support is a monthly monetary payment made by one partner to the other to assist with living expenses.

In the past spousal support or alimony, was provided for former wives by former husbands because the man was generally the breadwinner. Times have changed, now most marriages have both husband and wives as wage earners and women are less dependent. The tradition of women receiving spousal support is eroding. In fact, there are a rising number of cases of ex-wives paying alimony to ex-husbands.

Types of Spousal Support

There are a number of factors that are considered for whether or not a spouse receives spousal support. Missouri has no set formula in place to determine spousal support. Instead, a judge will take into consideration the earning ability of one spouse, the duration of the marriage, and the ability of one spouse to pay.

If you were in a long-term marriage and both spouses worked and had comparable incomes, then you are less likely to get alimony. However, in situations of long-term marriage where the wife was a stay-at-home mom, with no particular skill set, spousal support is more likely to be awarded.

The type of spousal support depends much on the financial position of the marriage. The four types include:

  • Temporary Spousal Support – this is given when the spouses are separated and not yet divorced. It may be given so that one spouse can maintain their lifestyle between the time the divorcing couple separates and actually divorces.
  • Rehabilitative Spousal Support – this type of support is paid so long as it is needed for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting. It is generally allotted for a fixed amount of time, such as to allow the spouse to find a job or finish school.
  • Permanent Spousal Support – this support is given until the death of the payer, death of the recipient or until the recipient remarries. The amount of permanent spousal support can be adjusted during the course that it is being paid.
  • Reimbursement Spousal Support – this is where one spouse reimburses the other for expenses that they had while married. For instance, if a working wife puts her husband through medical school, he may be ordered to pay reimbursement alimony to pay for the costs of medical school. It is paid until the amount is paid in full.

It is important to know that long-term marriage is one of more than ten years, but spousal support can possibly be obtained in shorter marriages.

How Spousal Support is Determined

Each divorce has its own unique set of circumstances. Therefore, a judge will have to consider a number of factors when deciding on whether spousal support should be awarded. Some of the things they will consider include:

  • The income of both spouses
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age of both parties and their health
  • Earning capacity and potential earning capacity
  • The need for one partner to go through school to be able to get a job
  • The ability of a spouse to become self-reliant in the future
  • Care of children or elderly parents
  • Tax consequences after divorce
  • Additional care for children, such as medical treatment
  • Possible loss of health care benefits
  • Any other factors presented as evidence

A Missouri family law judge is permitted to consider any factors he sees fit when contemplating a petition for spousal support. Our spousal support lawyers will go over your personal situation very carefully in order to ensure that the judge is informed of any and all information pertaining to your case.

Talk to an Experienced Spousal Support Lawyer

It can be difficult to prove the need for spousal support, and even more difficult if you are attempting to modify an existing spousal support order. By having our family law firm’s knowledge and experience in spousal support agreements by your side, your chances of achieving your deserved financial help will be increased.

Contact The Betz Law Firm today by calling (314) 801-8488 or fill out our online contact form.