One of the biggest concerns and challenges during the divorce process can be the subject of spousal support. The spouse who is required to pay spousal support will have a keen interest in understanding the process of how spousal support is determined while the spouse who is seeking spousal support will also have a significant interest in how spousal support is awarded during divorce.

Spousal support, or spousal maintenance as it is referred to, is not automatically granted in Kentucky when a couple divorces which is why it is helpful to understand under what conditions is may be granted. If spousal support is requested, but not agreed to, the family law court will have to determine if it will be awarded and how much will be awarded and for how long.

There are two primary types of spousal support including rehabilitative maintenance and permanent maintenance. Rehabilitative maintenance is typically awarded to allow a non-working spouse the opportunity and time to obtain education, training, work experience and employment to become self- sufficient. Permanent maintenance may be granted if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer. Temporary maintenance may also be granted during the divorce process.

When determining which type of maintenance to award and how much and for how long the family law court will evaluate several factors. Factors that may be considered include the age and health of the spouses; the length of the marriage; the property division settlement between the spouses; the income of each of the spouses; the financial needs of the recipient spouse and the ability of the paying spouse to pay; the length of time the support is needed and if one spouse is unable to work because they are, for instance, caring for the children.

Spousal support can sometimes be a contentious issue during divorce so it helps to understand how the family law court handles requests for spousal maintenance. The more divorcing couples understand about the divorce process and what to expect from it, the more likely they are to have a smooth divorce process.