How does spousal support work in Kentucky?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Divorce |

Making your way through life after a divorce may feel overwhelming, especially if you count on your spouse for financial support. In some marriages, one spouse may stay home to care for children, which ultimately benefits the working spouse on many different levels. 

Spousal maintenance intends to help a spouse who needs to find better financial footing after divorce. However, it is not always a given and it is seldom a lifetime payment. Take a closer look at some basic facts about the way Kentucky handles spousal support. 

Differing timeframes

Under Kentucky law, there are four forms of spousal maintenance: 

  • Temporary 
  • Permanent 
  • Rehabilitative 
  • Post-Divorce 

The court may grant temporary payments after a spouse files for divorce. This prevents the money-earning spouse from cutting the other off financially. When the divorce becomes final, the court may order post-divorce maintenance that is either rehabilitative or permanent. The most common spousal maintenance is rehabilitative and supplements the financially deficient spouse’s income until it becomes more stable. Permanent spousal support typically only comes into play if a spouse is ill, unable to return to full-time employment or has significantly less money. 


Spousal maintenance is not automatic. The court awards it in longer-duration marriages. The benchmark is typically 10 years. There are exceptions and spousal support, like many things during divorce, is negotiable. However, the standard for spousal support is a decade of marriage. Marriages that last decades have a much higher rate of permanent alimony as well since the couple has probably gone into retirement together. 

If your financial situation seems bleak at the onset of your divorce, you may ask the court to consider awarding spousal maintenance. It may help you get back on your feet.