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If the wife is collecting disability from Soc. Sec. how long will i have to pay alimony. is it for life, or how many years?

Arnold, MO |
Filed under: Divorce Alimony

i am paying all debts including, mortgage, and credit cards.

Attorney Answers 2


Unfortunately, I need to preface my response with "it depends". There are some questions that need to be answered about your current situation. First are you still married to your wife or is there a divorce pending. What was commonly known as alimony is not called maintenance in Missouri. If a divorce or legal separation is filed, the court will make a determination as to whether maintenance should be awarded. What the court takes into consideration is the income of the parties, the necessities and expense of the parties and their ability to pay for these. Maintenance can either be term, which is a set number of years that it is to be paid or non modifiable maintenance, which could continue to either the death of your spouse or remarriage. You should consult an attorney and provide that person with the details necessary to answer your questions.

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If you are already divorced, your Decree of Dissolution will tell you how long you have to pay maintenance. If it does not mention a termination date, then it is until you die or she dies or there is a substantial and continuing change of circumstances. If she was getting disability at the time of the divorce, that fact will not allow you to get a change. If she started receiving it later, but her total income is actually now less than at the time of the divorce, she is the one that can seek to change the decree and try to get even more. If she was not employed at the time of the divorce and is now getting some income, from disability or otherwise, you should speak with an attorney to discuss whether is its "substantial" enough to justify changing the decree.
On the other hand, if you are not divorced, maintenance and how long it goes on will be an issue to be negotiated or determined by the judge depending upon the relative income and expenses of both parties, how long you have been married, and the conduct of the parties.

This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is constantly evolving and changing. This discussion is not to be taken as a definitive guide, and should not be relied upon to determine all fact situations. Each set of facts must be examined separately with the current case and statutory law analyzed and applied accordingly.

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