How is Maintenance or Spousal Support or Alimony set in Kentucky?

Someone just asked me “How is Maintenance set in Kentucky?”.  Although their divorce is not in Louisville, the rules are the same throughout Kentucky.

There is no easy answer for calculating spousal support, maintenance or alimony.  The statute that covers maintenance is KRS 403.200.  To receive maintenance, you must first prove that you lack sufficient property, including marital property to provide for your reasonable needs, and are unable to support yourself through appropriate employment or are the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that you not be required to seek employment outside the home.  KRS 403.200(1).

What does all of that mean?  Your reasonable needs are your monthly living expenses.  Your reasonable needs must exceed your income, including the income from the marital property you receive in a divorce.  Once you “pass” the first part of the test, then you must set the amount and duration of maintenance.

How do you (or the Court) come up with the right number for monthly maintenance?  The statute requires that the maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as are just, and after considering all relevant factors including:  (a)  Your financial resources, including marital property apportioned to you, and you ability to meet your needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for you as custodian; (b)  The time necessary for you to acquire sufficient education or training to enable you to find appropriate employment; (c)  The standard of living established during the marriage; (d)  The duration of the marriage; (e)  Your age and physical and emotional condition; and (f)  The ability of your spouse to meet his needs while meeting your needs.  KRS 403.200(2).

So, all of that together means that maintenance must be in an amount and for a duration that helps you meet your monthly needs until you can meet them yourself, all within the bounds of the duration and standard of the marriage.  There are a lot of factors taken together which make it difficult to answer “How much maintenance should I receive?”.

Two people can help you and your spouse prepare a reasonable maintenance award:  your attorney and your financial planner/CPA.  The calculation is both very difficult and very important.