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Three Common Misconceptions About Spousal Maintenance

Three Common Misconceptions About Spousal Maintenance

Three Common Misconceptions About Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also often referred to as alimony, is the most contentious aspect of many divorce cases in Missouri. It is also one of the most misunderstood. There are many misconceptions that have developed over the years, and they leave people surprised when they are either asking for alimony or defending against unfair requests for it. Below, our Missouri family lawyer outlines the three most common misconceptions about spousal maintenance in the state, and the truth behind them.

I Should Get the Same Amount of Spousal Maintenance as My Friend Did

Spousal maintenance is incredibly fact-specific. Even if you and your friend are the same age, have similar jobs, and the same number of children, you may receive more or less spousal maintenance than your friend. The personality of you and your spouse may differ from that of your friend’s, or your attorneys may have different styles. Additionally, you may not have the same judge presiding over your case that your friend did. 

There are so many factors that go into determining whether a person will get alimony, you should not try to guess how much you will get. The only person you should ask about it, and expect a realistic answer from, is your divorce lawyer.

I Will Only Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance for a Few Years

This misconception often arises also because a person compares their circumstance to that of someone they know. There are three types of alimony in Missouri and one of them is permanent, meaning a spouse could have to pay alimony for a long period of time. Again, spousal maintenance is fact-specific and the length of time a spouse will have to pay it will depend on the circumstances of the case. 

If your spouse needs alimony while they finish med school, but has a good job waiting for them upon completion, you may only have to pay alimony for a certain period of time. On the other hand, if your spouse is disabled or of an age that makes returning to work impractical, you may be ordered to pay permanent alimony. Again, only a lawyer can determine how long you may have to pay alimony.

I Gave Up My Job to Raise the Kids, So I Automatically Deserve Spousal Maintenance

Family law judges expect all able-bodied people to work to support themselves, even after divorce. Any agreement between you and your spouse about the division of household responsibilities will not matter when alimony decisions are made. Although you may receive alimony for a short period of time if you need to re-enter the workforce, spousal maintenance, or the amount of time one receives it, is never guaranteed.

Our Family Lawyer in Missouri Can Help with Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance can always become complex because it is so fact-specific. Scott A. Hamblin is a skilled Missouri family lawyer who can advise on the specifics of your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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