Missouri law requires that a party to a divorce proceeding file a statement of income and expenses detailing all of his/her personal receipts and expenditures. Depending upon the county, the income and expense statement is filed at the time of a party’s initial pleadings or soon after. Many counties further require that the parties supplement the income and expense statement before trial.
The income and expense statement is obviously very important, particularly because it is completed under oath. Its significance as to a maintenance/alimony determination is also crucial. Specifically, depending on a party’s testimony at trial or in a deposition, a statement of income and expenses may constitute substantial evidence when a Court is evaluating a maintenance request (i.e., that a party requesting maintenance (a) lacks sufficient property to provider for his/her reasonable needs and is (b) unable to support himself through appropriate employment). The statement of income and expenses, then, not only illustrates a party’s financial situation to the court and opposing party, but also may constitute substantial evidence of reasonable needs sufficient to justify an award of maintenance. See Brooks v. Brooks, 957 S.W.2d 783, 788 (Mo. Ct. App. 1997). A party should thus speak in depth with his/her attorney regarding the filed income and expense statements and chart out how best to respond.