Spousal support may also be known as alimony or spousal maintenance. Unfortunately, as a marriage ends, your standard of living may adjust dramatically from what you were used to during the marriage. In many situations, the spouse of one income is generally much higher than the other, which can make post-divorce life difficult for the spouse with the lower income.
This concept of standard of living is important for understanding the basics of spousal maintenance. Standard of living is defined by the income and spending during the course of your marriage as well as an overview of how you lived together.
One of the most important aspects of spousal maintenance in Kentucky is related to fault. Although Kentucky is a “no-fault” state, if you are moving forward with a maintenance claim, any fault in the marriage on your behalf might be used against you in court. In this situation, only the party going after a maintenance claim will be considered by the judge, so it’s worth a conversation with your Northern Kentucky attorney to prepare you for your time in court. The discussion of any fault on your part will not be considered for an approval or denial of your award, but it can impact the amount of your total award.
If you have any special needs that should be evaluated by the court in the determination of your spousal maintenance, discuss those with your attorney. Having any relevant documents on hand can also help to plead your case, too. If you are a displaced homemaker, suffering from any disabilities, or are currently in therapy or counseling, your lawyer should be informed about these situations to present a comprehensive picture to the court.
Maintenance can be awarded in one of several different types.
- Temporary maintenance: This can be awarded while your final divorce case is still pending with the court. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about this amount, the court can issue an official order, which will last until a final solution has been decreed at the end of your divorce. Since this is generally awarded right away, it’s important that your records of monthly expenses be accurate.
- Rehabilitative Maintenance: The goal of this maintenance award is to help one spouse get the other back on his or her feet. Usually used for short-term marriages, rehabilitative maintenance may be awarded for a period of up to 5 years.
- Permanent maintenance: As the name suggests, this refers to long-term orders of spousal maintenance. Although these orders can be set for life, the court still retains the right to review and adjust any existing orders. In contemporary law, these kinds of awards tend to be exceptions and not the general rule for judges determining alimony.
To learn more about your alimony options and to prepare for your case, contact Cynthia R Clausen today for a comprehensive evaluation.