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Is spousal support the same as alimony?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2021 | Divorce |

Alimony may be a term you hear when others talk about divorce, both in your social circle and in the media. However, alimony’s concept and purpose may not be something you consider until your divorce is up for discussion.

Depending on how long you were married, it could be challenging to separate your lives and transition to being single again. In Kentucky, some divorcing couples can file for spousal support to ease the adjustment.

Here’s what you should know about spousal support in Kentucky.

How courts decide

In some states, courts use a formula to decide both the amount and duration of spousal support. Kentucky does not follow a formula; instead, courts look at factors, such as:

  • Standard of living before the divorce
  • Income and earning capacities
  • Children
  • Duration of the marriage

These factors are only for determining the amount of support. The courts will only award support if the spouse seeking support lacks sufficient property to reasonably meet their needs and cannot support themself through adequate employment or cannot work outside the home due to being the custodian of a child.

It is not forever

While spousal support can be a helpful bridge between marriage and self-sufficiency, it is typically not a permanent solution. Often, spouses in need of support payments put a career or education on hold to maintain the household.

In most cases, courts order spousal support for a short time while the supported spouse gains skills, employment or both to become independent. Also, keep in mind, the court will not order support to the point that the supporting spouse can no longer maintain their needs.

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