Spousal Support or Maintenance Claims

When considering divorce, a point of concern can be how you will make ends meet when dividing into two households, and this can lead to a lot of questions. This dilemma can be a worry for both spouses, particularly if one spouse was the primary breadwinner throughout the marriage. The higher-earning spouse will likely worry about paying too much out to meet their own needs, and the lower-earning spouse may worry about not receiving enough to meet their needs independently. Take a look at some of our most frequently-asked questions, and call us today with further questions about your specific case and how we can help. (502) 893-2350

Maintenance is a payment from one spouse to another for financial support, generally paid after divorce.

Kentucky does not have a statutory table or chart to determine maintenance, which makes it more discretionary to the judge deciding your case. Typically, it is paid in monthly installments.

Maintenance claims are generally made in cases where the marriage has lasted at least five to eight years. Generally, the length of time maintenance will be paid is somewhere around a third of the length of the marriage, but again, this varies case by case. Permanent/Longer term maintenance or short term maintenance can be awarded. Permanent or long-term maintenance will be paid when there is a long-term marriage when one spouse was the primary earner. The amount will be set to enable the lower-earning spouse to maintain a lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. Short-term maintenance can be set in other circumstances to help one party get on their feet by returning to school or obtaining a job. There may also be a lump-sum maintenance payment paid over time to make up for the difference in division of property.

It is the burden of the person asking for maintenance to show the Court why they are entitled to maintenance, and maintenance must be obtained at the time of divorce and cannot be obtained later. Under KRS 403.200, a Court will grant maintenance if the spouse seeking maintenance can prove that he or she:

  1. Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to her/him, to provide for her/his reasonable needs; and

  2. Is unable to support herself/himself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.

If the Court finds that maintenance is appropriate, then it will determine an amount and duration for the maintenance payments, considering the financial resources of each party, the timeframe for the payee to find appropriate employment or receive education or training for appropriate employment, the length of the marriage, the age and health of the party seeking maintenance, and the ability of the payor to meet their own needs and pay maintenance.

Generally, if you have been married for five or more years and there is large difference in income between the spouses, a maintenance claim should be considered. Talk to an attorney immediately about your maintenance claim to ensure that your case does not fall through the cracks.

About the author

Eddins • Domine is a boutique law firm providing personal service and attention throughout the entire course of your representation.  Our attorneys focus on family law, estate planning, and business and corporate law, and also excel in providing practical advice and representation in Kentuckiana real estate and civil litigation matters.

Eddins • Domine Law Group, PLLC

3950 Westport Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40207

Phone: (502) 893-2350
Fax: (502) 893-1949

Email:  info@louisvillelawyers.com

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