Spouses may contribute different things to a marriage. For example, one spouse may work outside the home and earn an income to support the family, while the other spouse focuses on caring for the children and/or the family home. In other marriages, both spouses work outside of the home, but one spouse earns significantly more than the other.
If a couple chooses to divorce, the lesser-earning spouse may have trouble supporting themselves financially and maintaining the life they became accustomed to during the marriage, without the income of the higher-earning spouse. In such cases, a family court may award alimony or maintenance to the lesser-earning spouse.
Types of maintenance in Kentucky
There are three types of maintenance available in Kentucky for lesser-earning spouses. These types include:
- Temporary – Support to cover living expenses of the payee spouse (the spouse receiving maintenance) while the divorce is being finalized.
- Short-term – Rehabilitative support provided while the payee spouse obtains additional job training or education needed to find suitable employment.
- Permanent – Long-term financial support for older or disabled payee spouses that may last until the payer spouse dies or payee spouse dies or remarries.
Under Ky. Stat. 403.200, courts will award maintenance based on a number of factors, including:
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Financial resources, income, etc. for both spouses
- Age and health of supported spouse
- Fault (Kentucky is a no-fault state, but fault may be considered when calculating alimony)
Not all lesser-earning spouses are entitled to alimony. However, the court may find it necessary to award alimony in many Kentucky divorces. A divorce attorney can help handle the issue of spousal support, as well as any other issue that arises during your divorce.