Asked in Divorce for Missouri

Q: I am a Missouri resident needing a divorce but need to move right away to Oklahoma.

Iknow that I will forfeit our home, but can I still lay claim to half of his 401k and ask for maintaince? I am 57 yrs old and disabled. My husband has been having an affair for three years and has been hiding money while liquidating my valuables for bills. Mine are all gone now. I have nothing. What to do? Help please

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jennifer L. Rench
Jennifer L. Rench
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Residency is a factor in where you file your divorce, but a person doesn't forfeit marital property just by moving out of the marital home. In Missouri the court will set apart to each spouse such spouse's nonmarital property and will divide the marital property and marital debts equitably. More information would be needed about the 401(k) to determine if any part of it is marital property and if it is then we would look at the overall marital property picture to see how the marital property should be divided.

Missouri courts have wide discretion to determine whether or not to award maintenance and how much for how long. Maintenance in a divorce case in Missouri is determined by looking at the marriage to see if maintenance (alimony) would be appropriate, and also evaluating one spouse's reasonable needs and ability to meet those needs and the other spouse's ability to contribute to those reasonable needs. There are 10 factors the court would look at to determine whether or not maintenance in a divorce case was appropriate. So while you certainly can ask for maintenance, it would be very difficult for an attorney to give you an accurate opinion as to your chances of getting a maintenance award without representing you and gathering more information. I hope this was helpful!

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