Divorce and Money

divorce and moneyMissouri Alimony, Spousal Support and Maintenance

Alimony, also known as spousal support and maintenance, is financial support paid by one spouse to the other.  There are essentially three types of alimony:  permanent alimony, reimbursement alimony, and rehabilitative alimony.  Permanent alimony is an allowance for support and maintenance (such as food, clothing, housing, and other necessities) of a spouse.  When a party requests permanent alimony, he or she must establish the need for support and that his or her spouse has the ability to provide for all or part of the need.  Reimbursement and rehabilitative alimony are paid for a shorter period and most likely provide less than the standard of living during the marriage.  Rehabilitative alimony is designed to provide the means necessary to enable a spouse to refresh or enhance job skills to become self-sufficient and to provide financial support while the souse is obtaining necessary training.

Some factors the court will consider in awarding alimony is the length of the marriage and each party’s financial condition, age, health, education, and employment opportunities.  Of all the issues that need to be resolved during divorce, alimony and property division are often the most difficult issues to negotiate.

Hidden Assets

Arguments over money are a common stressor in marriage and that intensifies when one or both spouses are considering divorce.  In Missouri, divorcing couples are each required to file financial statements with the Court to disclose all income, expenses, assets, and debt that is both marital and separate, however, temptation is often high to hide assets or income to avoid splitting it with a divorcing spouse.

If you believe your spouse is hiding assets or income, or secreting marital assets through a frivolous lifestyle, you need a divorce attorney who is experienced and well versed in financial matters as well as family law.  Thorough discovery (the legal process of gathering information once a Petition for Dissolution has been filed) will indicate if your spouse is hiding assets that should be divided in the divorce settlement.

If you believe your spouse may be hiding assets or income, or spending excessively, your divorce attorney will want to see:

  • Tax returns for the last 3-5 years, including all schedules and attachments;
  • Statements for bank accounts, investment accounts, loans, lines of credit, and credit cards;
  • Your spouse’s pay stubs or earnings statements;
  • Operating or Partnership Agreements for business interests;
  • Tax returns, financial statements, and bank statements for business interests.

If your spouse has controlled the money during your marriage and you don’t have access to the these documents, we can gather this information and more through the formal discovery process.

At The Law Offices of Kathleen E. Shaul, we have extensive experience in finding hidden assets and income and can help you get your fair share.  Call us to schedule an initial consultation with a divorce attorney who will evaluate your case and develop a strategy to ensure that assets are disclosed and properly valued for equitable distribution.