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In Missouri, each spouse is expected to take all reasonable steps to secure adequate employment and become or remain self-sufficient though there are exceptions to this rule. For example, there may be a large disparity in incomes or perhaps one of you has been absent from the workforce for a lengthy period of time. If the court finds that you or your spouse has inadequate property or are unable to support themselves through appropriate employment, the court may award that spouse maintenance.
Determining the amount and the duration of the award can be quite complicated and the court will consider items such as: the financial resources of each party; the time necessary to acquire sufficient training or education to obtain appropriate employment; the comparative earning capacity of you and your spouse; the standard of living established during the marriage; the obligations and assets of each party; the duration of the marriage; the age and physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance; the ability of the spouse who would pay maintenance to do so and meet his or her own obligations; and the conduct of the parties during the marriage. In addition, maintenance awards can sometimes be set up to be modifiable over time.
Remember that the law favors self-sufficiency so the party seeking maintenance has to prove real need.