Maintenance in a divorce case is based primarily on two important factors: need and an ability to pay. But what does that mean? Well, Missouri courts have the authority to grant alimony (spousal support) to either party. But before that happens, the spouse who is requesting alimony has to prove that he or she really needs to be supported AND that the other spouse has the financial ability to pay that support.

Assuming that thresh hold is reached, there are several other statutory factors that a court can then consider in determining what, if anything, would be a fair alimony award.

Those factors include:

1. The standard of living established during the marriage (the court will generally try to maintain that standard if reasonable)

2. The duration of the marriage (a long term marriage will generally create a stronger presumption of dependence than a short term marriage)

3. The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party (these factors often contribute to a court's determination of a spouse's ability to support himself or herself)

4. The financial resources of each party, the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each (as we saw above, the issue here is one of need versus ability to pay)

5. When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment (the court may award a temporary or rehabilitative alimony sum for the purposes of helping a spouse to become self supporting in the near term)

6. The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.

7. All sources of income available to either party

West County Family Law represents clients requiring assistance and advice in family law matters relating to maintenance throughout the St. Louis area.

If you need to know whether an award of maintenance is appropriate as you begin a divorce or dissolution of your marriage, are currently in the process of figuring out a fair maintenance settlement, or if you are having problems or issues with a court-ordered maintenance arrangement, West County Family Law can help.

Alternatives to Monthly Maintenance Payments

Lump Sum Support

In several states, a spouse may pay the total maintenance obligation at the time of the divorce by giving the other spouse a lump sum payment equal to the total amount of future monthly payments. If you accept a lump sum maintenance payment, you may face tax consequences. For example, if you receive a lump sum payment you may be subject to taxes on the full amount for that year. But if the same payment is called a "settlement," you may not be taxed. Before signing an agreement it is recommended that you talk with an expert who understands the tax consequences of any lump sum support payment.

Experienced Service and Legal Counsel

Our goal at West County Family Law is to provide the highest quality of experience, service and legal counsel. With more than 65 years of experience, attorneys Case & Rajnoha are capable of handling many types of legal matters. Founded in 1975, West County Family Law's trademark has been prompt, personal attention. Our success has been our dedication to our clients and protecting their best interests and rights. Our clients deserve to be well-represented, with quality legal services provided by a dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals. We pride ourselves in our personal service by making sure we are available for our client throughout the legal process.

We're Here to Help You

We seek to help you through the legal problem confronting you. The first step is an easy one: call us for a free telephone consultation at (636) 861-1111 to speak with our Ballwin family and criminal law attorneys. You can also contact us online.

We accept Visa and MasterCard.

West County Family Law is located in Ballwin, Missouri, and serves the cities of St. Louis, Chesterfield, Fenton, Valley Park, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Kirkwood, Des Peres, Webster Groves, Manchester, Eureka, Hillsboro, Maryland Heights, Town and Country, Ellisville, Frontenac, Wildwood, Ladue and Crestwood. We also serve other communities in St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, West County and South County.