Fox Family Lawyers
Cynthia Moseley Fox
Attorney at Law
7751 Carondelet Avenue,
Suite 700
Clayton, Missouri 63105
(St. Louis)

About Spousal Support/Alimony

Spousal Support, which is also known as Spousal Maintenance and which was formerly called Alimony, is the monthly payment at a set and designated amount by one former spouse to the other in order to assist the recipient provide for his/her reasonable needs (i.e. living expenses).

There are three types of spousal support:

  1. Open-ended where the payments continue until either party dies or the recipient remarries.
  2. Limited Duration where the amount paid is limited to a specific end date, after which no further support is payable. This type of support is usually established when there is high certainty that an event in the foreseeable future will occur that will eliminate the need for maintenance. For example, if the recipient were expected to graduate from medical school within a year or two and become gainfully employed as a doctor.
  3. Contractual where the amount paid and the period of time over which the payments will be made has been established through an agreement between the parties.

Judges are empowered to order the payment of either open-ended or limited duration support, but not contractual, which can only be arrived at through agreement of the parties.

Open-ended maintenance is always subject to modification if there is a substantial and continuing change in circumstances, while the judge has the discretion to decide if a limited duration support order will be subject to modification or not. Contractual maintenance is not subject to modification, unless the parties themselves agree to modify it.