Maintenance / Spousal Support

LGBT Rights and Relationships
December 13, 2019
December 13, 2019

Maintenance / Spousal Support

During a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, a court may order maintenance for either spouse or the parties can agree on a maintenance arrangement. Maintenance (otherwise known as alimony or spousal support) may be awarded on a temporary basis while the case is pending and/or for a period of time after the parties are divorced or legally separated.

How is maintenance calculated?

A court will first examine the factors set out in Kentucky Revised Statute 403.200 to determine whether to award maintenance to a spouse. These factors include whether the spouse seeking maintenance:

  • Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs;
  • Can support herself or himself through employment;
  • Is the custodian of a child whose age or circumstances make it appropriate for that parent to stay at home.

Once a court determines that a spouse is eligible to receive maintenance, the court will award maintenance in a specific amount and for a certain length of time based on the following factors:

  • The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance;
  • The time it will take the party seeking maintenance to acquire sufficient education or training to be able to find appropriate employment;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
  • The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her own needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

Can my maintenance award be changed?

The Supreme Court of Kentucky recently changed the modifiability of a maintenance award. According to Woodson v. Woodson, 338 S.W.3d 261, 263 (Ky. 2011), a maintenance award is subject to modification if the party seeking modification demonstrates a “change in circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the maintenance award unconscionable.” Kentucky Revised Statute 403.250(1).

Contact Sparks Integrative Family Law to learn more about how maintenance may affect your case, or to discuss whether you are eligible to seek to modify the amount of maintenance you are paying or receiving.

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