Legal Articles

Surviving Spouse Inheritance Rights

In Missouri, there are three main benefits a surviving spouse can receive in probate: (1) certain exempt property, (2) a one year support allowance, and (3) a homestead exemption. The surviving spouse automatically receives from the estate the family bible, one automobile, all clothing, electrical appliances, instruments, furniture, and utensils and implements. See Section 474.250,…

Maintenance / Alimony Modification

Spousal maintenance or alimony awards are often modifiable. What this means is that if there is a change in circumstances (e.g., income) bewteen the parties after the maintenance is originally entered, then a subsequent motion to modify maintenance can be filed to appropriately change the amount, duration and/or frequency of the maintenance.  Under Section 452.370.1,…

Income & Expense Statements in Divorce, Maintenance/Alimony

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…

Retroactive Child Support Orders

During several divorce, paternity or child support cases, a long period of time can elapse between the filing of the petition and when the court enters its final judgment and order. It is quite common for cases to last 18+ months, particularly in contested cases. Knowing this, parties will often string a case out as…

Changes/Modifications/Adjustments to Spousal Support

In Missouri, spousal maintenance/alimony can only be awarded when, among other things, the requesting spouse cannot meet his or her reasonable needs through property or employment. Whitworth v. Whitworth, 878 S.W.2d 479, 485 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994). A maintenance order can be permanent or short term. Depending on the language in a divorce judgment, a spouse’s maintenance/alimony…

Criteria for Maintenance/Alimony Award

In divorce proceedings in Missouri, courts have discretion in awarding maintenance — which are payments made from one spouse to another spouse to enable the spouse receiving support to meet his/her reasonable needs. Numerous factors are considered in awarding maintenance and the court has some flexibility in deciding how to structure the maintenance (i.e., lump sum,…

Maintenance/Alimony Modifications

It’s not just child custody or child support orders that can be modified. Orders for spousal maintenance can also sometimes be modified with a Motion to Modify. The criteria for modifying an award of spousal maintenance are as follows: [a] showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable […]…

Saint Louis Divorce Attorney

The divorce process in Missouri can be quite exhausting, emotionally and legally. From a purely legal perspective, a detailed division and separation of the assets must take place. This includes debts — not just bank accounts, real estate, brokerage accounts, cars, etc. This asset distribution is made more complicated when assets like 401(k)s, IRAs, and…

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