How Much Spousal Maintenance Am I Entitled To?

Spousal maintenance, or spousal maintenance, is based on several factors. Duration and allotment will depend entirely on the circumstances of each case. Ultimately, the court will make a decision based on the most desirable outcome for those involved.

Maintenance Orders

After a spouse has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation in Kentucky, they can file for maintenance. Maintenance orders are granted to the spouse by the court if the other spouse is not present at the hearing. These orders determine spousal maintenance payments.

Maintenance orders are awarded based on several factors, including:

  • Marital property awarded to the spouse
  • Ability to provide for dependents
  • The time necessary to find appropriate employment
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Duration of the marriage
  • The physical and mental condition of the spouse seeking maintenance

All of these factors help the judge to fairly apportion spousal maintenance. If the spouse requesting maintenance is unemployed, the court will consider the time it would take to receive the necessary education and find a job when ruling on a payment amount. The court will also evaluate the duration of the marriage as a measure for spousal maintenance. Kentucky courts do not consider marital fault when determining spousal maintenance, however.

How Is Spousal Maintenance Taxed?

In Kentucky, qualifying maintenance order payments can be deductible by the payor and considered taxable by the beneficiary. To qualify for spousal maintenance under the IRS, the payments must be in cash, both parties must live in separate houses, and the amount paid will be earmarked for spousal maintenance exclusively.

When Your Ex Doesn't Pay Spousal Maintenance

Keep in mind that the court also bases spousal maintenance payments on the length of the marriage. For instance, courts may order one year of maintenance for every three years of marriage. Every judge is different, and they may choose different standards for the duration of spousal maintenance. If one or both spouses remarry or begin cohabiting with a new partner, the responsible party will no longer have to pay the beneficiary. In other cases, the court may award permanent maintenance. Regardless of the spousal maintenance duration, the individual responsible for paying spousal maintenance must follow the court order in its entirety.

If your ex does not pay the maintenance fee, the owed amount becomes known as spousal maintenance arrears. Collection of arrears can happen in small wage courts, by mediation, or through wage garnishment. Noncompliance with court-ordered spousal maintenance results in a contempt of court charge against the spouse responsible for paying spousal maintenance. Contempt of court charges are severe and can result in fines or jail time.


Spouses have the option to come to a spousal maintenance agreement through the court or mediation. If they choose to use mediation, they can pursue a mutual agreement with a mediator's help. Mediators and family attorneys are an excellent resource for individuals seeking mediation. If you have a prenuptial agreement, you may have a clause that includes the right to waive or limit spousal maintenance. Attorneys can work with you to determine the best course of action.

Get the Spousal Maintenance You Are Entitled To

Ultimately, the amount of spousal maintenance mandated by the judge will depend on the unique circumstances of the splitting spouses. If you believe you are entitled to more spousal maintenance or your ex has ceased paying spousal maintenance, contact the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher today. Our attorney has over three decades of experience in family law. We value our clients and seek to provide compassionate, personalized legal counsel on every case we handle.

Don't hesitate to call the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher at (270) 977-8910 or schedule a case evaluation today.