Alimony and Spousal Support in Missouri: What You Need to Know

Divorces can not only be mentally exhausting, it can also be financially exhausting. And this financial exhaustion does not necessarily end once the divorce is finalized. Alimony/Spousal support is a financial obligation that does not end after divorce.

This blog will provide an in-depth look at spousal support in Missouri, covering topics like:’

  • How long does spousal support last?
  • How is spousal support determined?
  • Will I be obligated to receive or give spousal support?

Understanding the details of spousal support in Missouri can help you be better prepared for your divorce proceedings.

Understanding Spousal Support in Missouri

Spousal support, or alimony, is a sum paid by one spouse to the other spouse after the divorce. Spousal support is typically ordered if one spouse has significantly more resources than the other. One of the purposes of spousal support is to assist the low-earning spouse in getting back on their feet after divorce.

Another purpose of spousal support is to help the low-earning spouse maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage. In most cases, the spouse wanting to receive spousal support must file a spousal support claim. Whereas child support is an automatic right, spousal support is not.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Missouri?

There are no set guidelines for how long spousal support lasts in Missouri. The court can order short-term, long-term, or permanent support. The court has the discretion to consider various factors when determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

Qualifications for Spousal Support in Missouri

To qualify for spousal support in Missouri, you must demonstrate the following:

  • A financial need for support
  • The ability of the other spouse to pay support
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The earning capacity of both spouses
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The division of property in the divorce
  • Any other relevant factors

Determining the Amount of Spousal Support in Missouri

Spousal SupportIn Missouri, the court to determines the amount of spousal support based on the following factors:

  • The financial needs of the spouse seeking support
  • The relative earning capacity of both spouses
  • The ability of the spouse paying support to meet their own financial needs
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The spouses’ roles during the marriage
  • The division of property in the divorce
  • Any other relevant factors

Modifying Spousal Support in Missouri

Once there is an order of spousal support, either spouse can ask the court to modify the support agreement later. The court considers whether there is a ‘substantial change in circumstances’ that would require a modification to the spousal support agreement.

For instance, if the spouse paying spousal support experiences a significant decrease in income, they can petition the court to reduce the amount of support.

On the other hand, if the recipient spouse experiences a substantial increase in income, the spouse paying support can ask the court to terminate support.

Contact an Experienced Missouri Divorce Attorney

Determining if spousal support is necessary in your case can be difficult. If you are going through a divorce and want to pursue spousal support, it is key to hire an experienced Missouri divorce attorney. A skilled attorney can help you understand your legal rights while negotiating a favorable agreement.

At Hale Robinson & Robinson, we are committed to helping our clients navigate the complicated divorce process. Our experienced divorce attorneys will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your interests are protected. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation at

Hale Robinson & Robinson is a family law firm that serves clients in Missouri and Kansas. Our attorneys have extensive experience in all areas of family law, including divorce, spousal support, child custody, and property division.

by Rico Robinson

Owner and Managing Partner, at Hale Robinson & Robinson.