What are some of the factors which must be considered when determining temporary and permanent maintenance in a Louisville divorce case? One of the most common issues we are asked about during consultations with a divorce client is the subject of maintenance. Will maintenance be ordered in your case? What is the difference between temporary and permanent orders of maintenance? How will the amount and duration of support be determined.
The first step in determining temporary and permanent maintenance in a Louisville divorce is establishing the need for support and the ability to provide support. While child support is heavily weighted based upon specific calculations established by the State of Kentucky, the calculation of maintenance is much less precise under the law.
If both spouses have roughly the same earning capacity the need for maintenance may not be present. Maintenance is usually ordered when there is a significant difference in the earnings or employment viability of the former spouses. Temporary support orders are issued toward the outset of the divorce to ensure a level financial playing field during the proceedings. Permanent maintenance orders are usually issued by the Court toward the end of the proceedings, and are often less than the amount of temporary support. It is important to note that in this context the word “permanent” does not mean “forever.” It simply refers to a more final order issued by the Court toward the end of a divorce case and going forward. Judges often establish expectations for the recipient to become self-supporting within a given period of time. The subject of permanent spousal orders can be revisited for a variety of reasons, including the efforts of a recipient to become more self-sufficient.
There is somewhat of a basic calculator for establishing temporary maintenance amounts. In many cases the Court would begin with a number based upon subtracting half of the lower-earning spouse’s income from approximately 40% of the higher earner’s income. Each County has its own approach to this controversial subject and the unique factors of each case must be considered and examined.
Another important question when determining temporary and permanent maintenance in a Louisville divorce is the length of the actual marriage itself. When the marriage lasted longer than ten years it is considered to be a “long-term” marriage and the likelihood of maintenance increases. Kentucky Family Law provides more than a dozen factors the Court must consider as part of determining the need for, amount and duration of permanent maintenance.
Determining temporary and permanent maintenance in a Louisville divorce can be a complex legal and financial issue. Each case is genuinely unique and this is why it is important to seek the advice and counsel of the experienced divorce and family law attorneys at Dodd & Dodd. We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our former clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.