Some of our readers have likely been following the divorce of former Kentucky Gov. Matt Blevin and his wife. You may have seen that Mrs. Blevin stated in her divorce petition that she is “unable to support herself in the manner to which she has been accustomed during the marriage” and is seeking alimony (spousal maintenance) while the divorce is in process and permanent spousal support from her husband of 26 years.
While permanent alimony is no longer common, it is an option that judges can consider. It’s more likely to be awarded in cases where a couple is divorcing after many years of marriage – especially if one spouse has been out of the workplace for all or part of that time. If they continue to have responsibilities like children or elderly loved ones to care for that would further keep them from updating their skills and education to become self-supporting, that’s another consideration.
Can and should alimony be awarded to allow someone to live in the style they became accustomed to during the marriage? Let’s look at Kentucky law.
Factors considered when awarding spousal maintenance
Under Kentucky law, judges can consider the following factors (among others) when determining whether a spouse is required to support the other, how much they’re required to pay and for how long.
- The individual financial resources of each spouse
- The ages and health of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living the couple established while they were married
Whether a divorcing spouse is able to receive support to allow them to continue to live in the style to which they’ve become accustomed obviously depends on multiple factors. As noted, the financial resources of the spouse being asked to pay are a significant factor.
That’s just one reason why it’s crucial for both spouses to provide a full and accurate report of their income, assets, debts and complete financial picture as they divorce. It could potentially be necessary to bring financial professionals onto your divorce team to help ensure that your spouse is being honest and accurate in their divorce financial disclosures. Having sound legal guidance is, of course, essential to seeking fair spousal maintenance and other agreements.