Can you be awarded spousal support if your spouse has custody of the children?

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Can you be awarded spousal support if your spouse has custody of the children?

I married my wife 19 years ago in CA while serving the US Navy. We moved to MO about 4 years later and have been here ever since. Last August, my wife’s grandmother passed away. She ended up deciding to leave the marriage and move to CA to be with another man whom she had been contacting before the death. She worked for 3 years out of the 19 years we were married. We filed for divorce and now she is trying to get spousal support from me while she is “working” and living rich. I was wondering how she is winning this because I have had custody of our 2 children.

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation.  I am assuming that you have filed for divorce in Missouri, correct?  If you and your soon to be ex wife can not agree on spousal support - or spousal maintenance as it is called - and it appears that you will probably not agree under the circumstances, the Circuit Court of Missouri will decide the issue.  And it is decided on a case by case basis.  The court may order maintenance for a permanent or temporary period after considering all economic relevant factors including: (1) The financial resources of the party desiring support (2) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment; (3) The earning capacity of each spouse; (4) The standard of living established while married; (5) The financial obligations and resources of each spouse; (6) The length of the marriage; (7) The age and health condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; (8) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; (9) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and (10) Any other relevant factors. I would seek legal counsel as soon as you can.  Good luck.


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