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Spousal Maintenance Factors in a Louisville Divorce

What are the spousal maintenance factors in a Louisville divorce case? How and when will maintenance be ordered? What is the difference between a “temporary” order and a “post divorce” or “permanent” order?

There are far too many spousal maintenance factors in a Louisville divorce to list here, and there is no specific calculation or formula for the Judge in your case to follow. Kentucky Family Law provides our Courts with abundant discretion in not only whether or not maintenance will be ordered, but the amount of support to be paid and the duration of support itself.

Generally speaking maintenance is designed to level the financial playing field between the parties during the divorce, and provide a lesser-earning spouse the opportunity to develop self-sufficiency once the divorce is completed. The Court considers not only the need for maintenance, but the ability of the payor to provide it.

The Judge must consider several maintenance factors in a Louisville divorce, including but not limited to:

  • The age, health and roles of each party going into the divorce
  • The earning capacity / employability of each former spouse
  • The duration of the underlying marriage
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage
  • Sacrifices made by one party to support the other
  • The impact of marital fault and if it will impact the amount of or duration of maintenance
  • Past or present domestic violence or criminal activity

While these are just a few of the numerous factors established and rooted in Kentucky Family Law the Judge has broad discretion when determining the need for support and the ability to pay it.

Another of the maintenance factors in a Louisville divorce is the important difference between “temporary” and “post divorce” or “permanent” maintenance. Temporary maintenance orders are issued toward the outset of the divorce and extend until the final decree is issued. “Post divorce” orders are included in the final decree and cover post-divorce maintenance specifications. There are several important things to note about maintenance in many cases:

  • It may surprise you to learn that temporary support is quite often higher than the amount ordered as permanent maintenance.
  • The duration of maintenance will be established by the Judge and this is usually accompanied with instructions for the recipient to become self-sufficient within a specific timeframe
  • Generally speaking, the longer the underlying marriage, the longer the duration of maintenance, especially if the marriage lasted longer than 10 years.
  • Maintenance can be modified post-decree based upon a significant change in the “Status Quo”
  • Permanent” maintenance has become much more rare in recent years and usually reflects not only a substantial difference in income between the two spouses, but the ability of the recipient to ever become self-sustaining

Are you concerned about spousal maintenance factors in a Louisville divorce and whether maintenance will be ordered in your case? How can you protect your interests? 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.