Misconduct May Cost You More in Maintenance

couple looking away from each other after confrontation of affair

The Southern District of Missouri Court of Appeals decided in Schubert v. Schubert that misconduct during the marriage and pendency of a dissolution action is a factor to consider when awarding maintenance. Wife and husband had seven children together. Prior to having children, wife worked as a nurse. Once they started raising a family, the wife stayed at home, working part-time at a daycare and homeschooling the children. The husband worked full-time as an insurance agent. They divorced after husband admitted to having an affair and a child outside of marriage. Wife was granted full custody of all seven children and awarded $2,000 per month in maintenance, allowing her to continue homeschooling the children. Husband was refused to pay wife anything during the case, causing wife to become financially underwater and rely on gifts from family and friends to provide for the children. Husband displayed inappropriate physical, verbal, and emotional behavior, requiring the children to need therapy.

R.S.Mo ยง 452.335 governs maintenance, allowing the court to consider all relevant factors when deciding how much to award, if at all. Specific factors to be considered include the comparative earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living during the marriage, the ability of the husband to provide for his needs and the needs of the wife, and conduct during the marriage.

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