Thursday, April 3, 2014

Maintenance in Missouri Rundown

Maintenance in Missouri Rundown

What is maintenance?

Maintenance is another word for alimony, which is simply post-divorce spousal support.  Payments made from one ex-spouse to another for the support of the receiving spouse.

What are the types of maintenance?

Missouri has two types of maintenance obligations, modifiable and non-modifiable.  Modifiable maintenance, just like it sounds, can be modified by the court at a later date if one party files a Motion to Modify Maintenance.  A party attempting to modify a maintenance obligation will have to show a "continuing and substantial change in circumstances" that makes the terms of the original arrangement unreasonable and therefore, a change is warranted.

For example, let's say Husband and Wife divorce.  Husband is a professional soccer player and is ordered to pay $1,000 per month in modifiable maintenance. Two years after the divorce, Husband is attacked by a pack of feral bulldogs, not unlike the beast pictured here:

Husband loses both of his legs in the attack but manages to escape.  The first thing Husband would want do, after applying pressure to his wounds, of course, is to file a motion to modify that maintenance obligation.  His motion to modify would be based on the continuing and substantial change that he is no longer able to practice his craft and earn the income the original maintenance obligation was based off of.

A non-modifiable maintenance cannot be modified by the court at a later date.  It's more like a payment obligation that you'd see for a traditional loan:  Husband pays to Wife a sum of $500 per month for a term of 5 years, or something along those lines.  For non-modifiable maintenance, the payor is agreeing to pay whatever terms are agreed upon.  If the obligation is for $500 per month for 5 years, the paying party better plan on paying $500 per month for 5 years.  A non-modifiable maintenance obligation can be terminated by law, of course, like in the event that the party receiving maintenance re-marries.

How is maintenance handled come tax time?

The party who receives maintenance will claim it as income and pay taxes on it.  Naturally then, maintenance payments are a tax deduction for the party paying them.

You can read more exhilarating commentary about maintenance in Missouri over on my uncontested divorce F.A.Q. page.

Thanks for reading
Gerald W. Linnenbringer


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