The issue of spousal support or maintenance is another important topic involved in divorce. This not child support. Spousal support may be ordered for the ex-spouse’s benefit. Not every case involves spousal support. In fact, for the majority of the cases a Jefferson County family judge has, this issue may almost be the exception to the rule.
Spousal support can be ordered in situation involving a spouse with an illness or disability. In some situations, this support is made available as rehabilitative maintenance.
What is Rehabilitative Maintenance?
Let’s assume one of the parents was a stay-at-home parent. That parent may not have finished a degree, opting instead, to care for the children while the other parent assumed the role of primary bread winner.
Now that this spouse is trying to re-enter the workforce, she/he may need to go back to school or seek additional training to enable her/him to secure employment. Rehabilitative maintenance may be ordered as a temporary measure to enable that spouse to move forward.
The judge will ask the attorneys to determine if there is sufficient property, which could be used to pay for the education or training, if it were to be sold? If this is feasible, the judge may not grant the request for spousal maintenance as other means are available.
In situations involving the divorce of middle-age and older couples, it may not be their first divorce. There may already be court-ordered payments to another spouse from a previous marriage. When this happens, it can make it more difficult for the subsequent spouse to secure maintenance.
A major consideration is the individual’s ability to pay. As unfair as it may sound, the additional burden of a second maintenance payment may be beyond the person’s ability to pay. As with other issues involved in a Kentucky divorce proceeding, everything is negotiable. The two parties may be able to reach an agreed upon settlement enabling both parties to move forward.
Is it always fair? At times, it depends on one’s perspective. Jefferson County family law judges want to work toward achieving a fair and equitable divorce settlement. Again, the potential for spousal support is only one of the various issues involved in a dissolution of marriage.