Elizabethtown Divorce & Spousal Support Attorneys

Spousal support, known as "maintenance" in Kentucky divorce court, is not automatically granted in every divorce, and the law does not give a preference to the man or the woman when deciding issues of support. Either the husband or the wife may ask for an order of spousal support. If the spouses disagree over the payment of support, the judge will decide whether to award maintenance, how much and for how long, based on the evidence and arguments given to the court by the parties and their attorneys. The divorce representation provided by Aldridge & Aldridge in Elizabethtown includes practical advice and effective representation when trying to get or challenge an award of maintenance.

Spousal Support and Maintenance under Kentucky Law

There are two main types of maintenance which can be granted in a Kentucky divorce – rehabilitative or permanent. There is also a third type – temporary maintenance – which may be granted while the divorce is pending to help a non-working spouse who is living apart to support oneself during the divorce proceeding. This type of temporary maintenance ends when the divorce is finalized. It may then be replaced by an award of rehabilitative or permanent maintenance, if the judge is convinced such an award is warranted.

Rehabilitative maintenance – This type of support is usually awarded to give a non-working spouse time to get the necessary education, training, employment or job experience necessary to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative maintenance is generally granted for a duration equal to half of the length of the marriage, up to a total of five years.

Permanent maintenance – If the marriage lasted ten years or more, the judge may grant maintenance on a permanent basis. This may be done where one of the divorcing spouses has no independent income, or where the difference in incomes between the two spouses is substantial. Also, if one of the former spouses is disabled or otherwise prevented from working, a permanent maintenance award may be appropriate.

In deciding whether to grant spousal support, and if so, which kind, for how much and for how long, the judge looks at a number of different factors, such as the following:

  • The age and health of the spouses
  • The length of the marriage
  • The outcome of the property division
  • Each spouse’s income
  • If one spouse can’t work because he or she is taking care of the kids
  • The financial needs of the receiving spouse
  • The ability to pay of the paying spouse
  • The length of time support is needed

Modification and Termination of Spousal Support

After a maintenance award is made, circumstances may later change which change the needs of the receiving spouse or the ability of the paying spouse to continue making payments. In such a case, a party may be able to go back to court and ask for a modification of the support order. Whether a maintenance award can be modified or not depends on whether it was ordered as a lump sum or not, and whether the judge is convinced of the need for a change. Support orders can also be terminated early if the receiving spouse remarries or moves in with a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Help with Kentucky Maintenance Awards from Experienced Elizabethtown Divorce Lawyers

The divorce and family law attorneys at Aldridge & Aldridge can help you in any initial maintenance decision or petition for modification, whether you are seeking to establish, challenge, modify or terminate spousal support. In Elizabethtown, call (270) 765-2000, or contact us online.