Alimony, or maintenance, is financial support that one spouse pays to the other to help them acclimate to their new routine due to divorce. Alimony can be ordered to be paid only during the divorce process or after for some time as well, depending on how long it will take for the supported spouse to become financially stable on their own. With this in mind, we will explain the three types of alimony offered in Kentucky that pertains to the specific situation of the spouses.
Three Types of Alimony in Kentucky
Family courts in Kentucky can award temporary (pendente lite) maintenance, short-term maintenance, or permanent maintenance. Temporary support orders are alimony arrangements that only last for the duration of the divorce process. This is primarily for situations when one spouse had relied on the other for day-to-day expenses, and they need financial assistance to make ends meet while they settle the divorce. Temporary support ends when the judge finalizes the divorce or when they issue a new support order.
The most common type of alimony in Kentucky is short-term alimony, whose purpose is to support the other spouse in obtaining an educational degree or specialized job training for finding employment. This type of alimony is often called “rehabilitative” alimony, and it lasts until the supported spouse is able to secure proper employment. The judge will usually require the spouse to create a detailed plan explaining how long it might take to become financially independent.
The third type of alimony, permanent alimony, is rarely granted and usually reserved for couples who are ending a long-term marriage. In such a case, a judge might order permanent alimony to support a lower-earning spouse who is unable to work due to disability or advanced age. Permanent alimony ends when either spouse dies or when the support spouse remarries.
Deciding on the Alimony Award
Either spouse has the right to request alimony, though the judge must find that the requesting spouse doesn’t have sufficient resources to be self-supporting and that they are unable to be self-sufficient or cannot work outside the home because they are responsible for caring for a young or incapacitated child.
If the court deems it appropriate to order alimony, they will consider the following factors to determine what type of alimony to grant and for how long:
- the requesting spouse's financial resources, including marital property received in the divorce, and ability to become financially independent;
- the time necessary for the supported spouse to complete job training or an educational program to find proper employment;
- the standard of living during the marriage;
- the length of the marriage;
- the supported spouse's age, and physical and mental health; and
- the paying spouse's ability to remain financially independent while paying maintenance.
If you have further questions about the difference between Kentucky’s alimony options or which one you might qualify for, do not hesitate to contact our firm for legal advice. We can take a look at your circumstances to help you determine what type of alimony you may receive or be expected to pay, as well as for how long. We can also help you request for modification of an alimony arrangement if you have experienced a significant change in circumstances.
Whatever your alimony concern, the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher can help. Contact us today for more information.