Can a judge grant alimony if it’s not asked for?

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Can a judge grant alimony if it’s not asked for?

My husband doesn’t work right now but isn’t contesting the divorce and doesn’t

want alimony from me. Can a judge still grant him alimony since he doesn’t make

anything?

Asked on October 15, 2018 under Family Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a judge in a divorce case has the equitable (essentially, "fairness-based") power to order alimony even if the other spouse wasn't specifically seeking it; that's if the case goes before the judge for him to decide. Judges can exceed what was sought in the filings. If you and your spouse enter into a voluntary settlement agreement to resolve the divorce, and you both sign/agree to it, the judge should simply approve it as you and he have worked out--so you and he could settle between yourselves without alimony.


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