Spousal Support

Spousal Support

What Is Spousal Support (also known as Maintenance or Alimony)?

In many divorce proceedings, spousal support is a major focal point. This is particularly true when one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent and has not worked in recent years. While there are no set guidelines or requirements for spousal support in Missouri, that doesn’t mean that spouses are not entitled to seek it. It only means that a compelling case needs to be made no matter what side you are on in a maintenance case. Be sure that you have an experienced lawyer on your side who understands the law and will fight to protect your interests. At Stange Law Firm, PC, we represent clients throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska in all types of spousal support matters. No matter which side of the case you are on, we are committed to doing everything in our power to secure the most favorable possible result on your behalf.

Building the Strongest Possible Case to Support Your Position

i. Maintenance in Missouri

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as spousal maintenance or alimony, is not automatic in Missouri. The court has broad discretion to award maintenance or not award it. If the court awards maintenance, in Missouri, limited duration maintenance is almost never awarded unless the court can point to a fixed date where maintenance is not needed. This means that in most instances, the court can either award maintenance in an open-ended manner terminable upon death, remarriage, or a change of circumstance of a substantial and continuing nature or else not award it at all. This can make maintenance an all-or-nothing proposition at trial. Parties can agree to contractual maintenance on a fixed term, but fixed terms are not likely in Missouri, absent an agreement, unless the court can point to a future, non-speculative date where maintenance is no longer needed. The issue of whether “cohabitation” terminates maintenance is complex, not automatic, and based on numerous factors. When you hire our firm, we will present the strongest possible case for or against an alimony award based on your best interests. In many cases, we will examine whether a vocational examination would be helpful to your case. The court looks at several factors when considering spousal support, including:
  • The need of one spouse versus the other spouse’s ability to pay
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of the spouse seeking support
  • The impact on the children
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage
In most cases, spousal support can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances for either spouse. Our attorneys are prepared to help you if the need for a spousal support modification arises. If you have already received an adverse spousal support order, Stange Law Firm can represent you in the filing of an appeal.

ii. Maintenance in Illinois

In Illinois, a court makes the threshold decision that maintenance is appropriate in a given case. While judges do not have to use the formula, they must make a finding explaining why they did not. Under the formula, a maintenance award should generally equal 30 percent of the payor’s gross income minus 20 percent of the payee’s gross income, not to exceed 40 percent of the parties combined gross income when added to the payee’s gross. This might sound complex, but our attorneys can go through this with you.

iii. Spousal Maintenance in Kansas

In Kansas, the court has wide discretion as it relates to spousal support like in Missouri. However, a spousal support award cannot be ordered for longer than 121 months. But the parties can agree to a longer term for purposes of settling the case.

iv. Alimony in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, much like Missouri, courts don’t rely on formula when weighing whether to order alimony or the amount and duration. Instead, the court will look at the spouses’ circumstances, considering the needs of each spouse and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay. The court will also consider the length of the marriage and the spouses’ ability to be self-supporting. If you are going through a spousal support case, you might be interested in reading one of our articles on the topic: As breadwinning moms increase so do dads seeking spousal support.

v. Alimony in Nebraska

In the State of Nebraska, alimony is also called spousal support. Either spouse can request alimony in a divorce matter. In order for the court to award support, it is required that the requesting spouse must demonstrate a need for financial support and that the other spousal is capable of paying for the support. The court will use the following factors to help determine the amount and the duration of the award:
  • each spouse’s financial circumstances
  • the length of the marriage
  • both spouse’s contributions (monetary and non-monetary) to the marriage, including childcare and education
  • whether either spouse interrupted personal careers or educational opportunities during the marriage, and
  • the supported spouse’s ability to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the needs of the couple’s children.

Contact Our Attorneys in St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Topeka, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Omaha, and Lincoln in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska

Contact us online or by phone to schedule a confidential consultation at any of our convenient locations, including offices in St. Louis, Chicago, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, Wichita, Topeka, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Lincoln, and beyond.


Helpful Information On Child Support Matters

On our webpage, we also have pages on various other topics involving support that might be helpful to you, including the pages below and those on our menu:
Missouri child support calculator
If you are looking for a child support estimate in Missouri, we have a sample Form 14 on our webpage that can help give you a general idea in terms of child support numbers for your case.
Illinois child support calculator
If you are interested in obtaining a child support estimate in Illinois, on our webpage, we have a sample Illinois child support calculator. This might be helpful in terms of giving you a general idea of child support in your case.
Kansas child support chart
If you are interested in obtaining a child support estimate in Kansas, we have a simple chart on our webpage. This might be helpful in giving an approximation.
Oklahoma child support chart
If you are interested in obtaining a child support estimate in Oklahoma, we have a simple chart on our webpage. This might be helpful in giving an approximation.
Informational support videos
We have information child support videos from some live seminars that we have hosted on our webpage that you can view.
Child support emancipation
If you are interested in know how child support emancipation works, we have information on our webpage that you can view.
College education and child support
The cost of college and university education can be an important component of child support in divorce and custody cases. Our lawyers can assist if the cost of education is an issue in your case.
Modification of child support
In some cases, the court has issued a child support order. After the passage of time, it might be important to seek a modification where there have been changed circumstances of a substantial and continuing basis. You can discuss this with our lawyers if you think a modification might be appropriate in your case.
Modification of spousal support (alimony/maintenance)
Spousal maintenance can be ordered at the conclusion of a divorce. In some cases, the parties might need to seek a modification and/or termination of a maintenance order. Our lawyers can assist in many instances.
Daycare and child support
In divorce and custody cases where there are young children, the cost of daycare or childcare can be an important issue. Our lawyers can help you work through these issues.
Dependency exemptions
The dependency exemptions can be important for many divorcing parties or unmarried couples. Our lawyers can represent you in these circumstances.
Division of Child Support Enforcement
Many child support matters end up being addressed through state administrative agencies. Our lawyers can help represent you before state child support agencies.
Wage withholding orders and garnishments
In some cases, child support can be paid either through a wage withholding order or garnishment. Our lawyers can help you navigate the process.
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Serving the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Topeka, Tulsa and Beyond in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma

From our webpage, you can also read articles about family law, view informational videos, seminar videos, listen to our podcast, download our mobile application or view support calculators for MissouriIllinois and Kansas.

If you are looking to find and hire a child custody lawyer, contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation at any of our convenient locations.


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