The purpose of spousal maintenance is to limit any negative economic effects the divorce may inflict on the party who earns less money or doesn’t have a sufficient means of income. It is designed to financially assist the recipient spouse until he or she can become self-supporting.
In Missouri, the courts generally do not order “permanent” spousal support. A divorce decree may or may not include a termination date, which judges determine based on how much time they calculate that the recipient spouses might reasonably need to obtain sufficient job skills or education to support themselves.
If your divorce degree doesn’t have a termination date, you must continue to pay alimony. However, you could stop paying maintenance due to the fact that your life circumstances or your former spouse’s circumstances experience substantial changes.
Those significant changes include, but not limited to, the following:
- If your ex-spouse gets remarried
- If your ex-spouse passes away
- If you pass away
Fortunately, you have the right to petition for modifications to your decree. All orders without a termination date are modifiable, unless your decree specifically states that your support obligation can’t be modified. For example, if the recipient spouse gains employment and becomes self-supportive, the court may reduce or cancel payments. If your ex-spouse moves in with a partner in a domestic relationship, it can be considered as a circumstance which can affect maintenance payments.
At Smith Law Offices, LLC, we are committed to making the lives of our clients better after divorce by fulfilling their legal needs along the way. If you are interested in seeking modification for your spousal maintenance order, contact our St. Charles divorce lawyer today.