How To Avoid Paying Spousal Support title

How to Avoid Paying Spousal Support After Divorce in MO

If you are facing a divorce, you may be wondering how to avoid paying spousal support. Here’s what you need to know about avoiding spousal support in MO.

Summer Masterson-Goethals
Masterson Law
(417) 522-1280
1771 S. Fremont
Springfield, MO 65804

Avoid Paying Spousal Support in Missouri

Marriage, divorce, the aftermath: now, all you want to know is how to avoid paying spousal support after legal fees of a potentially costly dissolution and separation of marital assets. The division of finances, often the cause of a marriage breakdown, is a continuing issue where the higher-earning spouse worries they won’t be able to continue maintaining their standard of living, and the one hoping to pay alimony is concerned about being able to support themself at all.

Previously called alimony, spousal maintenance or spousal support is a method courts use to stabilize the situation after the divorce is finalized financially. If you want to avoid paying spousal support in Missouri, it is vital to contact divorce lawyers from Masterson Law who have experience in ensuring you get a fair day in court.

How to Get out of Spousal Support in Missouri

An alimony obligation is a regular reminder of a potentially unpleasant time, and you might find yourself researching how to get out of spousal support as soon as possible. Generally, the purpose of alimony is to avert the shock and inability to financially survive after the sudden loss of their spouse’s support. Therefore, courts must determine the following:

  • The spouse requesting maintenance has insufficient assets to meet reasonable needs.
  • The spouse has insufficient potential income to support themselves or cannot work outside of the home due to circumstances.

Courts often order maintenance payments to a spouse who makes less money, as they agreed that only one spouse would work outside the home while married. This may be due to a lack of education or experience or a decision to oversee the upkeep of the children and household primarily.

If you can’t afford child support payments and permanent alimony just because you can’t afford them, it is best to consult with a family law attorney. Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney will help you go through the legal process and get the best possible outcome.

How To Avoid Paying Spousal Support section

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Legally Stopping Alimony Payments

Regardless of how you feel about how much money one spouse makes in contrast to the other, you should avoid stopping alimony payments. To do so is at your own risk, as you may have a legal obligation to the lower-earning spouse according to the spousal support order.

Aside from the presence of minor children, many factors determine how much alimony is awarded, including each spouse’s:

  • Age and health
  • Amount of time required to find employment or become trained
  • Comparative earning capacity
  • Current income, available resources, and ability to self-support
  • Future potential assets 
  • Length of the marriage
  • Marital indiscretion
  • Property division of obligations and assets
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Unemployment

Since the order to pay spousal support and how much is determined by the court, other relevant factors may be considered, such as the income of the paying spouse. This is why it is best to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side who can guide you about the legal process.

At Masterson Law, we always help our clients in planning the alimony for their soon-to-be-ex-spouse and provide consultation for divorce cases.

Learning How to Stop Spousal Support

After a settlement agreement, it is essential to properly learn how to stop spousal support after a court order has finalized an alimony agreement to avoid serious trouble. The goal of alimony is for the ex-spouse to receive the financial security sufficient to meet their needs while ensuring it is also an amount that the other person can afford.

When either of those significant changes, the issue may be revisited in court. Moreover, there are certain factors that depend on the court’s decision about paying alimony. If the paying spouse suddenly loses their job or wage reduction, or gets into an accident, or acquires any sort of disability causing hindrance to fulfilling the specified amount, the court will revise its decision.

Stopping Alimony Payments

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Expert Tactics to Avoid Paying Alimony

As a family law matter, a local attorney may provide reliable tactics to avoid paying alimony to the former spouse. These include taking the following measures:

  • Financial ability to support oneself
  • Incriminating evidence
  • Length of marriage
  • Prenuptial agreement

Although Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, adultery or a new partner can also affect whether alimony is awarded.

Basically, there are several ways a person can avoid paying spousal support. You can pre-plan, have your attorney navigate the issue or suggest a termination date during the divorce, or request a modification or termination after the divorce.

Based on your wishes and situation, your attorney will help you with the best possible suggestions to bring your desired results. Even if you want to stop paying alimony or looking for ways to modify alimony, your attorney will help you find the best legal option to consider.

Researching Ways to End Alimony Payments

A higher-earning spouse may be interested in ways to end alimony payments to the ex-spouse after a divorce decree. During a divorce case or legal separation, most people seek ways to avoid an alimony order to a person they feel is perfectly capable of meeting the marital standard.

Even if the court awards spousal support payments to your ex, you may be able to have them ceased after the divorce is over if:

  • Their financial situation has improved
  • They completed their education, training, or vocational evaluation
  • They have remarried
  • They relocated 

At that time, the courts will revisit the case, and depending on the specifics, may no longer require you to pay maintenance, or they may reduce the amount.

Expert Tactics To Avoid Paying Alimony

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How to Divorce Without Paying Alimony or Financial Support

Regardless of your ability to pay, and perhaps due to other circumstances, you may seek advice on how to divorce without paying alimony to a previously supported spouse. There are many factors that the court considers before placing a maintenance order after the marriage ends.

In addition to your income and expenses, the judge will consider the other party’s current and anticipated financial circumstances. The court can choose from these payment options:

  • Indefinite maintenance
  • Maintenance for a specified duration
  • Modified as needed
  • Not subject to modification

They can also choose to require no alimony payment to the other party based on the spouse’s ability to earn a reasonable living but an unwillingness to do so or other incriminating evidence.

How to Avoid Paying Spousal Maintenance in a Divorce

Depending on your circumstances, you may be scrambling to figure out how to avoid paying spousal maintenance in a divorce. Since family law matters often evolve, Missouri allows maintenance orders to be modified.

Due to the wording in a prenuptial agreement or in the support order itself, however, the court cannot modify the amount in some cases. This is because of a precise termination date to which the court must adhere.

Missouri law requires proof of “substantial and continuing” changes in the parties’ circumstances to modify a support obligation if it can be modified. Though the entire process can be complex, however, guidance from an experienced attorney can help you get the best results.

How To Divorce Without Paying Alimony

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Knowing the Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Alimony

The right family law firm will be able to assist you in recognizing the mistakes to avoid when negotiating alimony and child support with the other spouse. In Missouri, most divorce cases settle after both parties agree regarding maintenance payments, including the amount and duration. 

If the matter goes to court, both parties must provide accurate financial information and probably tax returns and other supporting documents to support their position. 

To establish a picture of monetary strife, one or both partners may attempt to skew the judge’s view of their assets and income by quitting their jobs, changing to significantly lower-paying occupations, or filing for bankruptcy. Although claiming bankruptcy does not eliminate family court obligations, having substantial debt could indicate an inability to afford alimony.

It’s important to remember that becoming intentionally unemployed will be considered hiding assets and could result in serious trouble.

How Is the Amount of Alimony Determined?

It is wise to discuss the dissolution with divorce attorneys to determine how the amount of alimony is determined. The earlier in the divorce process you obtain legal counsel regarding the alimony amount you may be required to pay your former spouse, the stronger the attorney-client relationship will be.

Although it may seem obvious, it is important to remember that child support is separate from spousal maintenance. Generally, the courts use a formula to ascertain how much support the primary caregiver receives for the support of children, where alimony is more loosely based on the court’s discretion.

At Masterson Law, we will help you calculate the amount you will be paying in alimony as well as determine the child support expenses. During this planning, if you think you can’t afford to pay the determined amount due to any reason, we will help you find a way or solution.

Since negotiating the payment details before going to court benefits everyone involved, it is a good idea to contact a family law attorney at Masterson Law for a free case evaluation and the legal advice you need to move forward with your case.

Mistakes To Avoid When Negotiating Alimony

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CONTACT SUMMER

Summer Masterson-Goethals
Consumer and family lawyer, former legal aid attorney and Missouri Bar Leadership Academy member, Springfield Business Journal 40 under 40 Honoree. Site Map

Masterson Law
3030 E. Battlefield, Suite A
Springfield, MO 65804
(417) 522-1280

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