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Exploring Spousal Support In A Kentucky Divorce

In this article, you can discover:

  • The factors courts use to determine whether you are eligible for spousal support.
  • Why some people are granted permanent spousal support awards, while others are denied completely.
  • The impact of a “lifestyle claim” on your spousal support case.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible For Spousal Support In Kentucky?

Kentucky laws allow for spousal support, but it’s not automatic; the court has to decide if it’s appropriate on a case-by-case basis. To determine whether you are eligible for spousal support, the court will consider several factors, including:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • The ages of both parties.
  • Each person’s income.
  • The lifestyle you both were accustomed to during the marriage.

All in all, the state’s approach mostly focuses on what’s known as “rehabilitative” spousal support. The idea is to provide financial help only if one spouse truly needs it to maintain a basic standard of living. If you can support yourself without spousal support, then it becomes harder to convince the court that you should receive it.

What Is A Lifestyle Claim For Spousal Support In Kentucky?

In Kentucky, there’s an approach to spousal support called a “lifestyle claim”. This is used when one spouse has always earned significantly less than the other, but has lived a certain lifestyle because of the higher-earning spouse.

The idea here is that, even if the lower-earning spouse could financially survive on their own, they may not be able to maintain the lifestyle they’ve become used to during their marriage. Of course, this argument can be effective for some, but it’s in no way guaranteed to help you win a spousal support award.

Generally speaking, these lifestyle claims are strongest when minor children are involved and there’s a clear intention from both parents to maintain a specific way of living for them. For example, if one parent wouldn’t be able to afford the lifestyle that the children have been enjoying, the court might be more inclined to award spousal support for the children’s sake.

What Factors Determine How Much Spousal Support I’ll Receive And For How Long?

The court will look at three major factors to decide how much spousal support will be awarded and for how long spousal support orders should stay in place…

  • Your Employment History

Because rehabilitative spousal support is focused on helping you get to a point of financial self-reliance, these factors include your ability to earn money, your education level, the professional certifications you may have, and your employment history.


  • Your Children

The court will also consider the age of any minor children you have. For example, if you have an infant or a toddler, the court might take the stance that you should be granted spousal support so that you can stay at home with them.

If you’ve been a stay-at-home parent but you had a career beforehand, the court could grant temporary spousal support to help you along while you look for a job and get back on your feet.

In situations like these, the duration of support is calculated based on the length of your marriage or the length of time you spent out of the workforce as a stay-at-home parent.

  • Your Age

Your age is another factor that comes into play. If you’re younger, the court may expect you to go back to work and start building a career, reducing the likelihood of long-term support.

On the other hand, if you’ve been married for 30+ years and have mostly been a stay-at-home parent, the court may consider granting you long-term or even permanent spousal support. This is especially true if you’ve never had your own income.

In summary, spousal support is decided on a case-by-case basis, considering a mix of factors. For this reason, having an attorney is invaluable, as they will be able to guide you through what the judge will be looking for and how best to present your case. For more information on Spousal Support In A Kentucky Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step.

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