Inability to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) and declining health support modification of spousal support award in Missouri.

Recent case: JPD v. KMD Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District - ED99338

Husband appeals from the trial court’s Judgment denying his motion to modify his maintenance obligation owed to his ex-wife. Husband argues there was a substantial and continuing change in his income and circumstances between the last modification and this motion, making him unable to pay the ordered amount of maintenance.

To prevail on motion to modify maintenance, the party requesting the modification must show that changed circumstances render maintenance unreasonable, including inability to pay. The comparison is between the current circumstances and circumstances at the time of the previous order. The Circuit court found that a back injury prevented the Husband, a professional golfer, from earning as much income as in the past. That finding did not support denial of the motion to modify. Continuously declining health is relevant, and circuit court should have compared current earning ability to earning ability before injury, showing that Husband’s income is now less than maintenance ordered. The case was remanded to re-calculate maintenance and child support.