One of the most upsetting elements of a divorce is the financial toll it can take. As difficult as this can be for any person in a divorce, it can be particularly challenging for someone financially dependent on their spouse.
Often, these parties worry about how they will support themselves and pay living expenses, so many people want to know their chances of receiving spousal maintenance or alimony.
Factors that favor alimony payments
There is no guarantee that a person will receive alimony in a divorce; either the parties must agree on it, or the courts must order it. As such, it is impossible to say with certainty whether a specific person will receive maintenance.
That said, certain factors can increase the likelihood that financial support. Per Missouri alimony laws, elements that can work in favor of someone seeking maintenance include:
- A lack of resources to cover reasonable living needs
- Being the custodial parent of a child whose needs prevent the parent from working
- A lengthy marriage
- Insufficient education, training or work history to secure employment right away
- Financial inability to maintain the marital standard of living
- Age or health-related conditions that prevent an individual from working
- A valid prenuptial or postnuptial contract containing terms for alimony payments
These represent some of the factors that can make a person a candidate for spousal support.
Factors that can work against a petitioner
Some factors can work against a person seeking alimony. For example, the chances of receiving alimony can be lower for people who:
- Were married for less than three years
- Are financially independent
- Have adequate resources to maintain the marital standard of living
- Were abusive or violent during the marriage
- Engaged in financial misconduct
These factors may not automatically disqualify a person from receiving support, but they can present obstacles to a petition.
Know your options and rights
For better or worse, there is no definitive formula for deciding who is and is not eligible for alimony. Often, cases come down to negotiating with an ex or whether they make their arguments to the court successfully. In either case, legal guidance can be crucial in helping you pursue the financial remedies you may deserve.