Can a spousal support order be modified in Kentucky?

In a previous post, we discussed the factors that are used in determining alimony. In applying these factors, courts are able to formulate an order for alimony payments that is hopefully fair to both spouses. Alimony is meant to help the spouse in need without financially draining the paying spouse. However, things in life are rarely static and a person's financial situation could change in a heartbeat.

For example, what if the person paying alimony lost his or her job or suffered a sudden and debilitating illness? Can an order for alimony payments be changed in the state of Kentucky?

While the following information is not to be considered legal advice, in general, the answer is yes, an alimony award may be modified, although it may not be easy to do so. Under Kentucky law, a decree for spousal support may be modified only if there is a showing of a continuous and substantial change in circumstances that has made the continuance of the current order unconscionable. This is a difficult standard to meet.

That is not to say that it cannot be met, but the bar is high. In general, unconscionability describes something that is excessive, unwarranted and unreasonable. There are times, however, when one's life takes a turn for the worse and continuing with the current spousal maintenance order is next to impossible.

When this happens, the person seeking to change the spousal maintenance order may want to take the matter up with a legal professional. With the right help, the paying spouse may be able to pursue a modification that will lighten his or her financial load, while still providing adequate support to the spouse who is receiving maintenance.