Men will often ask about whether it is possible in a divorce or dissolution of marriage action in Kansas or Missouri to be awarded spousal maintenance. They are concerned that the court will “automatically” favor a woman for being woman in the area of spousal support. While some families still represent the 1960’s stereotypical image of a working husband with a stay at home wife, there are many other families that are different than the old fashioned mindset. The law, in both Kansas and Missouri does not focus on dated stereotypes and is not specific as to gender. Thus, if the husband has been the stay at home parent and/or has earned significantly less during the marriage while supporting the career of the wife, the husband would still be eligible for maintenance or spousal support. If you are a man seeking maintenance, it is crucial that you have a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney on your team to help you understand your rights, and help you prepare your case in a way that maximizes your opportunity to succeed in being awarded maintenance.
What Does the Court Look at in Awarding Maintenance to a Man?
The most central focus is the earning capacity of each party. If your wife has earned more than you during a significant portion of your marriage and/or you have made career and life choices to support your wife’s earning abilities in lieu of maximizing your earnings for the sake of your family needs and circumstances, your gender should not have a role in determining your ability to receive maintenance or alimony.
Were You the Stay At Home Dad?
If during the marriage you stayed home to focus on raising the children while your wife worked outside of the home, you likely have a strong claim to receive spousal support. The court will look at and consider your need for spousal support in the same way it would for a stay at home mom.
It is important in such circumstances that your divorce attorney know the law in Kansas or Missouri and that they are capable of establishing the facts that support a request for maintenance. Specifically, in the situation of a stay at home parent, you will need to establish that while you were at home serving and providing for the needs of the family unit in caring for the home and the children, the other spouse was able to better his or her career and you lost out on opportunities for career advancement during the period you served the family as a stay-at-home parent. Going forward, you will need to consult with your family law attorney to determine a strategy of either convincing the court that you continue to need to stay home with children on a full-time basis or you will need to begin looking for an opportunity that allows you to return to full or part-time work, while continuing your parenting functions. Again, an experienced family law attorney should be able to guide you with resources and options to accomplish these steps.
How Did Your Professional and Career Growth Suffer by Staying at Home?
If you stepped away from or down from your career opportunities, to take a backseat while supporting and allowing your wife to grow her career, in an effort to maximize the best work-life balance for the children and the family, this should obviously be presented to the court in a meaningful way. Particularly, if the growth in your wife’s career required family relocations and you had a promising career, but sacrificed that in favor of supporting your wife’s growing career.
While a marriage ending often requires a change of plans or reconsidering plans such that a spouse who stayed at home may need to now look for employment, if you have lost career growth and prospects while serving the family needs, again, this is something that should be carefully and strategically presented to the court to maximize your opportunity for financial renumeration as you move forward in rebuilding your post-divorce life.
How Can We Help You?
It is crucial that you get an experienced family law attorney on your team as you move forward with your divorce process. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you! Allow us to guide you through the process of separating your family, re-entering the work force and rebuilding your life! Statistics show that overwhelmingly, men receive maintenance in fewer divorce cases than women, however, we can help you make the best possible case- through settlement or to the judge that you should be entitled to maintenance. You need someone who can aggressively pursue your right to maintenance if you are entitled to it! If you wrap up your case and do not seek or get awarded spousal support, you generally cannot change or undo that. Thus, you have one chance to get it right! Call Pingel Family Law today to consult with us about how you can put our knowledge and experience to work for your future at (816) 208-8130.