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Title XXX DOMESTIC RELATIONS

Chapter 452

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  452.335.  Maintenance order, findings required for — termination date, may be modified, when. — 1.  In a proceeding for nonretroactive invalidity, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order to either spouse, but only if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:

  (1)  Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to him, to provide for his reasonable needs; and

  (2)  Is unable to support himself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.

  2.  The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, and after considering all relevant factors including:

  (1)  The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian;

  (2)  The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;

  (3)  The comparative earning capacity of each spouse;

  (4)  The standard of living established during the marriage;

  (5)  The obligations and assets, including the marital property apportioned to him and the separate property of each party;

  (6)  The duration of the marriage;

  (7)  The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;

  (8)  The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance;

  (9)  The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and

  (10)  Any other relevant factors.

  3.  The maintenance order shall state if it is modifiable or nonmodifiable.  The court may order maintenance which includes a termination date.  Unless the maintenance order which includes a termination date is nonmodifiable, the court may order the maintenance decreased, increased, terminated, extended, or otherwise modified based upon a substantial and continuing change of circumstances which occurred prior to the termination date of the original order.

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(L. 1973 H.B. 315 § 8, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1272, et al.)

(1975) For extensive discussion of the law under this section, see In re Marriage of Powers (A.), 527 S.W.2d 949.

(1976) This section does not apply to modification of existing dissolution decree but only to original decree. Modifications are governed by § 453.370.  Sifers v. Sifers (A.), 544 S.W.2d 269.

(1976) For discussion of "abuse of discretion" and items to be considered in making property settlements, support and attorney's fee awards, see Beckman v. Beckman (A.), 545 S.W.2d 300.

(1977) Held, trial court erred in making a periodically decreasing or "stairstepped" award.  Modifications must not be made on speculation.  In re Marriage of Cornell (A.), 550 S.W.2d 823.

(1977) Appellate court held that under the circumstances wife, though guilty of misconduct, was entitled to greater proportion of marital property and a continuation, after dissolution of marriage, of maintenance of $375.00 a month awarded by trial court.  Marriage of Schulte (A.), 546 S.W.2d 41.

(1977) Held, "reasonable needs" does not automatically equal the standard of living established during the marriage.  There is an affirmative duty on the part of a spouse seeking dissolution to seek employment.  Brueggemenn v. Bureggemann (A.), 551 S.W.2d 853.

(1977) Maintenance in gross may be awarded under this section. Miller v. Miller (A.), 553 S.W.2d 482.

(1977) Statute allowing award of maintenance in gross was not repealed by the dissolution of marriage statutes and § 452.335 does not preclude award of maintenance in gross.  Carr v. Carr (A.), 556 S.W.2d 511.


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1988 ----

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