Alimony Attorney in Thayer, Missouri
No matter which side of a divorce you’re on, you’re likely thinking of all the different ways your life is about to change. One or both of you will have to find a new place to live. If you have children, you’ll have major custody decisions to make. You must also decide how to split your joint assets. Another major component of some divorces is alimony. This is a concern for those who may have to pay as well as those who will be receiving it.
If you’re going through a divorce or are considering divorce and want to know more about how alimony will affect you, call me today to schedule an appointment. At The Law Office of Fred O'Neill, I’ve been helping people in and around Thayer, Missouri, for over 30 years. Let’s discuss your situation and discover what alimony option may work best for you.
Alimony in Missouri
Alimony (also called maintenance or spousal support) is not always required in a divorce. It’s more common when one spouse earns significantly more than the other or when one spouse was the breadwinner of the family and the other didn’t receive a traditional income. The goal of alimony is to ensure that one spouse doesn’t suffer financial hardship because of a divorce. This may mean that one spouse provides regular payments to another for a set amount of time to help with the transition.
There are three main types of alimony in Missouri:
Temporary: Temporary alimony is typically awarded in the short term while a divorce is being finalized.
Periodic: This is usually a monthly payment made to one spouse while they obtain job training or education to become financially independent.
Permanent: Permanent alimony is very rare and usually reserved for a long-term marriage where one spouse is unable to reenter the job market due to age, a medical condition, or a disability.
Who Is Entitled to Spousal Support?
Alimony can be paid or received by either the husband or the wife, although it is more common for the husband to pay. Either spouse can request alimony, but they must demonstrate the need. This could be that they lack the income or assets to provide for their needs, that they lack the education or training to move into work that will make them financially independent, or that they’re the custodial parent of a child and are unable to work due to childcare needs.
Determination of Type, Amount, and Duration
The court will look at many factors when determining how much alimony should be awarded. Some of these considerations are how long the marriage lasted, the financial needs of each spouse, the marital standard of living, any physical or medical needs of either spouse, the level of education or training each spouse has, or each spouse’s earning capacity. There is no set formula that a judge uses when determining the length of time alimony must be paid or the amount to be paid. Working with an experienced family law attorney can give you a better sense of what is reasonable to expect or request. Alimony is not intended to last forever and it will almost always have an end date. In general, the longer a marriage lasted, the longer alimony will be awarded. If the receiving spouse remarries, then alimony ends from the date of the new marriage.
Changing an Existing Alimony Agreement
If you wish to modify a current alimony agreement, you must request a review with the court. The most common reason for this would be if the spouse receiving alimony obtains new employment that allows them to be financially independent without the alimony payments, but any “material change in circumstances” can warrant a change to alimony.
Serving Thayer, Missouri
Working with a local divorce attorney can help ensure your divorce is amicable and fair to both spouses. If you’re in the Thayer, Missouri, area including West Plains, The Ozarks, or North Central Arkansas, reach out to The Law Office of Fred O'Neill today to schedule a consultation.