Fight for a Fair Determination with Galmiche Law Firm, P.C.
Maintenance, formally referred to as alimony, is a payment awarded as part of a divorce proceeding, usually as a monthly payment, from one spouse to another with the intent of supporting the receiving spouse financially.
Maintenance may be ordered by the court in various situations including where there is a large discrepancy in the earnings between the spouses so that the parties end up having a similar standard of living after the divorce.
Alimony is tax-deductible for the paying party and reportable earnings for the beneficiary if the divorce was finalized on or before December 31, 2018. If you divorced after January 1, 2019, or later, new amendments to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act remove the tax deduction and reporting provisions.
Factors in Calculating Maintenance & Amount Awarded
The Missouri Statute for maintenance provides a two-tier test. The initial test for a party to be entitled to some level of maintenance is for the court to determine that the spouse seeking maintenance:
- Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to her, to provide for her reasonable needs
- Is unable to support herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
In many cases, the spouse seeking maintenance can prove a need for an amount of maintenance that simply cannot be paid by the other spouse.
Once it is determined that a spouse may be entitled to some level of maintenance, some of the factors that the court may consider in determining whether maintenance will be ordered and the amount of the award include the following:
- The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including income and marital property apportioned to her and her ability to meet her needs independently
- The paying spouse’s ability to pay and the receiving spouse’s need for support
- The comparative earning capacity of each spouse
- The couple’s standard of living while they were married
- The obligations and assets, including the marital property, apportioned to her and the separate property of each party
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
For maintenance, there is not a mathematical formula that is the presumed amount of maintenance, unlike child support. Maintenance instead is calculated on a case by case basis.
"He was very efficient and cost conscious."H.R.
"This is the team to go with!!"J.S.
Modifications to Maintenance Orders in Missouri
Subsequent to the divorce judgment, a party can file a motion to modify the prior maintenance order unless the prior maintenance order is non-modifiable. The party filing the motion to modify must prove to the court that since the date the prior judgment was entered there has been a change in circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the prior judgment unreasonable. The loss of the paying spouse’s job or the illness of either party resulting in the permanent loss of income may be some of the many possible changes in circumstances.
What Happens if Your Husband Refuses to Pay Alimony?
In Missouri, if a husband (or an ex-spouse) refuses to pay court-ordered alimony, serious legal consequences can follow. If your husband refuses to pay alimony, here are the potential steps and consequences:
- Legal Action: The recipient spouse can file a formal complaint with the court, detailing the non-payment of alimony. The court will then set a date for a hearing to address the matter.
- Court Hearing: During the hearing, both parties will present their arguments. The court will evaluate the circumstances and reasons for non-payment.
- Enforcement Measures: If the court finds that the husband is willfully refusing to pay alimony, they may order various enforcement measures, such as wage garnishment, seizing bank accounts, placing liens on property, or even contempt of court.
- Contempt of Court: Willful non-payment can lead to contempt of court, which can result in fines, penalties, or even imprisonment.
- Modification of Alimony: If the husband is facing genuine financial hardship, they can petition the court for a modification of alimony based on changed circumstances, such as a significant decrease in income.
It's essential to consult with an experienced Chesterfield alimony attorney from Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. to navigate the legal process effectively and ensure your rights are protected. They can guide you on the appropriate steps to take if your husband refuses to pay alimony, helping you seek enforcement or modifications as needed.
Consult A Chesterfield Spousal Maintenance Lawyer Today
Maintenance can be one of the most vigorously contested parts of a divorce proceeding. Judges have some discretion in deciding whether to enter a maintenance order or the amount of maintenance, and either party can contest the other party’s request for or against maintenance. A maintenance order has the potential to carry repercussions that can last for years.
Therefore, it is in a party’s best interest to retain an experienced, assertive Chesterfield spousal maintenance attorney to assist them in pursuing a favorable outcome. The Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. has assisted many clients in pursuing favorable results for maintenance, and we can help in your divorce as well.
Attentive, One-On-One Legal Services
Honest Guidance & Counsel Backed by Years of Experience
Complimentary & Confidential Initial Consultations
Award-Winning Attorneys Fighting for You
40 years of Combined Experience in Family Law & Divorce Matters
Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (636) 552-4841.