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The role of maintenance in Kentucky divorces

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2020 | Divorce

While staying in your marriage may be untenable, divorcing your spouse could have serious effects on your standard of living. Your spouse may be your household’s primary or sole earner, and you may have difficulty making ends meet without their help. Yet, you may be unsure if you will receive maintenance as part of your divorce settlement. By understanding how Kentucky courts award it, you can determine whether you may be eligible for it.

Different types of maintenance in Kentucky

If your spouse was your household’s breadwinner, you may need help covering your living expenses during divorce proceedings. In this case, the court may order them to provide you with temporary maintenance. Once proceedings end, you will likely receive short-term maintenance if you still need financial assistance. This type of support will allow you to keep maintaining your standard of living while you work toward self-sufficiency.

It is unlikely you will receive long-term maintenance as part of your divorce settlement. Kentucky courts tend to make short-term awards, and they usually reserve long-term support for lengthy marriages or cases where one spouse’s age or disability prevents them from working.

Factors that could affect your maintenance award

There are two reasons why you could receive maintenance in Kentucky. The first reason is if you have insufficient property – both marital and personal – to support yourself after your divorce. The second reason is if you lack the ability to support yourself, or if you cannot work outside the home because you have a child who requires special care.

The court will weigh other factors as well when ruling on your award’s duration and value. These factors include:

  • How long your marriage lasted
  • The amount of time you need to complete the necessary education or training to find employment that will make you self-sufficient
  • The standard of living you and your spouse shared
  • Your age, physical health and mental health
  • Your spouse’s ability to provide you maintenance without experiencing financial hardship

In Kentucky, it is uncommon for divorce settlements to include awards for long-term maintenance. Yet, until you can support yourself, temporary or short-term maintenance can be crucial in helping you make ends meet. By working with a family law attorney, you can fight for an award that reflects your financial needs.