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  • 5.0/5.0

    Michael Schecter is an effective and skilled family law attorney. He is consciensious and thourough litigator.

    — Peer

  • 5.0/5.0

    — Peer

  • 5.0/5.0

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  • 4.8/5.0

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  • 4.6/5.0

    — Peer


Best Law Firms 2023

The Firm has been voted into the Best Law Firms, Family Law, for 2023.

Best Lawyers 2024

Mike Schechter has been voted into The Best Lawyers in America for 2024. Mike has received the Best Lawyers distinction for twelve years and was the Lawyer of the Year--Family Law, St. Louis in 2022.

Anne Lageson has been voted into Best Lawyers in America for 2024 for the third year in a row. 

Ajla Alunovic has been voted into "Ones to Watch-Family Law" with Best Lawyers in America for 2024 for the fourth year in a row.

Super Lawyers 2022

Jeff Schechter has been voted into Super Lawyers for 2022, the tenth consecutive  year that Jeff has received this distinction.

Mike Schechter has also been voted into Super Lawyers for 2022 for the ninth consecutive year.

Ajla Alunovic has been voted into Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" for 2022.


Under Missouri law, spousal maintenance, formerly known as alimony, is not automatically granted in the case of a divorce or legal separation. The family law attorneys at The Schechter Law Firm, P.C. in St. Louis have years of experience litigating marriage dissolution issues and understand when and how to argue the matter of spousal maintenance in Missouri courts.

Receiving Spouse Must Prove Need for Maintenance

Maintenance is not granted in every instance. In order to obtain a maintenance award, the spouse seeking maintenance must prove that he or she lacks sufficient property, including the portion of marital property awarded in the divorce, to provide for his or her reasonable needs, and also that he or she is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment. This employment provision includes situations where the spouse needs to stay at home and take of a child rather than seek outside employment.

Court Decides How Much Maintenance to Award

If the court decides maintenance is appropriate, it looks to many different factors to determine how much to award and for how long to continue the award. For instance, the court will consider how long it might take the receiving spouse to become self-supporting, the comparative earning capacity of each spouse, the length of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and health of the parties, and their conduct during the marriage.

Duration of Maintenance

If the parties can negotiate and agree upon an amount of maintenance, they can also agree upon a date when the maintenance will end, such as in a few years, for instance. If, however, the parties cannot agree and must litigate the maintenance issue, any award the court makes generally does not include a termination date, and maintenance will last until death of the paying spouse, a subsequent modification, or remarriage by the receiving spouse.

When Maintenance May Be Modified

Whether or not a maintenance order may be modified depends upon the terms of the order itself, which must state whether the order is modifiable or non-modifiable. A modifiable order may be increased, decreased, or terminated. Like child custody and child support, domestic relations orders can only be modified by persuading the court that circumstances have changed that would justify a modification.

Experienced Missouri Spousal Maintenance Lawyers

Whether seeking or opposing an order of maintenance or modification of an award, trust your dissolution case to the attorneys with over 100 years of combined experience in Missouri family law. Throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, contact The Schechter Law Firm, P.C. for quality, professional advice and representation.