Maintenance laws seek to prevent a spouse from suffering from a significant decrease in his or her standard of living after a divorce. An example of when maintenance may be awarded is when a spouse is either untrained or has been out of the workforce for so long that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to quickly attain a job that would allow them to maintain the same standard of living that they may have had while being married.

Kentucky family courts adhere to Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 403.200 when hearing maintenance requests. Before a maintenance order can granted, a family court judge may grant maintenance if it is determined that the spouse requesting maintenance meets the following two criteria:

  • The party requesting maintenance lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs, and
  • The party requesting maintenance is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek work outside of the home.

If the above requirements are satisfied and if the supporting spouse is able to pay maintenance, the court will consider the following factors when determining the amount of maintenance and the length of time that a spouse will receive maintenance:

  • The financial resources of the party requesting maintenance
  • The ability for the to party requesting maintenance to meet his or her needs independently
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party requesting maintenance to find employment
  • The standard of living established during marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age of the party requesting maintenance
  • The physical and emotional condition of the party requesting maintenance
  • The ability of the spouse responsible for paying maintenance to meet his or her own needs while also meeting the needs of the party requesting maintenance

The court may award maintenance while a divorce is pending. This is referred to as “temporary maintenance” or “maintenance pendente lite”. The court may also grant post divorce maintenance. This may be for a period of years or may be a permanent order.

An award of maintenance is an enforceable court order. If the payor fails to fulfill the obligations of the court order, he or she may be found to be in contempt of court. This may result in the court taking the necessary steps to compel the payor to comply with the maintenance order. Several actions available to the court including imprisonment, seizure of property, and wage garnishment.

Kellner Green can help you assess whether requesting maintenance is appropriate in your divorce. We are also available to assist in seeking enforcement of maintenance orders. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do for you regarding your maintenance and spousal support, contact us to set up a consultation.

Contact Us