Kentucky Divorce Maintenance Guidelines

By Mary Jane Freeman

When you file for divorce in Kentucky, you can also ask the court for maintenance, known as spousal support or alimony in other states. Maintenance may be awarded both during the divorce process and after the final divorce decree is issued. You will only be entitled to maintenance if you are unable to meet your reasonable needs or support yourself. The amount and duration of the maintenance award is at the court's discretion.


In a divorce action, either spouse may request and receive maintenance, regardless of gender. But before the court establishes a maintenance order, it must first determine if you qualify. Under Kentucky law, to qualify for maintenance, you must show that you lack sufficient assets to provide for your reasonable needs. This means you are either unable to support yourself through adequate employment or you cannot work outside the home because you are caring for a child whose condition or circumstances make it inappropriate to do so. Since the court considers the amount of marital property awarded to you when making its decision, your eligibility for maintenance will be determined after the property distribution stage of the divorce process.

Amount and Duration

Once the court determines you are entitled to maintenance, it will decide how much you should receive and for how long. To reach a fair outcome, the court evaluates several factors that are set out in state law. These include the standard of living established during the marriage; the length of the marriage; your age and emotional and physical health; the ability of your spouse to pay maintenance while meeting his own needs; your financial resources, including any property and child support awards received; your ability to independently meet your needs; and the time necessary to attain the education or training needed to obtain sufficient employment.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Types of Maintenance

Divorce courts in Kentucky have the option of awarding both temporary and permanent maintenance. Temporary maintenance is available during the divorce proceedings and is meant to help the recipient make ends meet during this time of transition and uncertainty. Temporary maintenance terminates once your divorce decree is issued and a permanent order is established. Permanent maintenance, also known as long-term maintenance, is awarded post-divorce. It does not necessarily mean you'll receive payments forever; the duration of any order is determined by the court after evaluating all relevant factors. To request temporary maintenance, submit a motion to the court, either with your petition for divorce or shortly after filing. For permanent maintenance, you simply make your request in the appropriate section of the divorce petition.

Fault, Modification and Termination

Although Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state, meaning neither spouse is permitted to cast blame on the other to obtain a divorce, state law allows the courts to take a spouse's misconduct under consideration when establishing a maintenance order. In other words, your misconduct, such as adultery, will not bar you from receiving maintenance, but it may affect the amount and duration of the maintenance you are awarded. After a maintenance order is in place, it may be later modified if circumstances substantially change, making the terms unfair. Maintenance orders may be terminated altogether if either party dies or remarries, unless a written agreement or the divorce decree provides otherwise.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Minnesota Spousal Maintenance Laws


Related articles

How Long Do You Pay Alimony in Missouri?

Like many states, Missouri courts prefer to call alimony “spousal maintenance.” By any name, there are few definitive rules regarding when a judge orders it and how long the payments last. Missouri courts have a great deal of discretion when it comes to spousal maintenance or support. It usually comes down to the opinion of a single judge, based on the particular circumstances of your case.

Oklahoma Alimony Marriage & Divorce Statutes

To initiate a divorce in Oklahoma, you must first file the appropriate paperwork and specify grounds for dissolution. The court is then tasked with dividing all marital property fairly between you and your spouse. Oklahoma judges have the authority to award alimony to either spouse under certain circumstances.

Wyoming Laws on Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid by a party to a former spouse. Wyoming, like all states, has a specific set of laws governing alimony awards. Wyoming, also like all states, allows individuals to obtain a divorce without proving the other party was at fault. Alimony is not intended to punish a paying spouse, but rather to provide fair and necessary assistance to the spouse who needs it. Alimony statutes are gender neutral; both men and women can receive it.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Alimony Laws in Kentucky

Alimony, called "maintenance" in Kentucky, may be awarded to one spouse during a dissolution of marriage proceeding. ...

Alimony Guidelines in Colorado

Alimony – called maintenance in Colorado – is one of the more hotly contested areas of divorce law. It lends itself to ...

The Penalties for Not Paying Alimony in Illinois

In Illinois, alimony is known as spousal maintenance and is an important tool for ensuring that former spouses can ...

How Is Alimony Calculated in Arkansas?

Arkansas courts award alimony, also called spousal support, during a divorce case if the court deems that alimony is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED