Can I Get Alimony In A Missouri Divorce?

Divorce can be an incredibly challenging experience, both emotionally and financially. This is especially true when alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, comes into play. Alimony refers to the court-ordered financial support payment provided to a spouse after a divorce, with the aim of helping the lower-earning or dependent spouse maintain their standard of living. The state of Missouri has intricate alimony laws, making it crucial for couples seeking a divorce or legal separation to seek guidance from experienced Missouri family law attorneys.

The Factors that Influence Alimony Payments

Unlike child support payments, alimony does not have standardized guidelines in Missouri. Determining alimony involves assessing multiple factors to ensure the payments are fair and just. These factors, described in detail in the Missouri Revised Statutes §452.335, include but are not limited to:

Financial Resources of Each Spouse

The court takes into consideration the current and future earning potential of each spouse, as well as their financial resources. This includes properties, businesses, and investments owned by the spouses.

Standard of Living During the Marriage

In assessing alimony, the court examines the standard of living that both spouses enjoyed during their marriage. This includes factors such as quality of housing, entertainment options, and other necessities.

Length of Marriage

The duration of the marriage plays a vital role in alimony cases. Generally, the longer the marriage lasted, the higher the likelihood of larger alimony payments.

Age and Physical Condition of Each Spouse

The age and physical condition of each spouse significantly contribute to determining alimony payments. The court considers the physical and mental health of both parties, as well as their skill levels and potential employment opportunities in the future.

How to Request Alimony in Missouri

To request alimony in Missouri, either spouse must file a petition for alimony with the circuit court in the county where either party resides. It is important for the petitioner’s attorney to present clear and convincing evidence that demonstrates the necessity of alimony and includes specific terms of payment. Once the divorce judgment is finalized, the court will issue an order for alimony, specifying whether it should be paid on a monthly basis, as a lump sum, or over a predetermined period.

The Termination of Alimony Payments

In Missouri, alimony payments typically cease when the receiving spouse remarries or enters into a marriage-type relationship. However, this determination is usually made on a case-by-case basis and may require presentation of evidence in court. Additionally, alimony payments end upon the death of either the receiving spouse or the payer.


In conclusion, the calculation of alimony in Missouri considers various factors, such as the incomes of both spouses, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the length of the marriage. It is important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to determining alimony amounts in Missouri. Therefore, couples going through a divorce or legal separation should seek the assistance of skilled Missouri family law attorneys to devise personalized strategies for their individual alimony cases. The expertise of legal professionals can make a significant difference in navigating the complexities of alimony laws and securing fair outcomes in these challenging situations.

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