When a couple in Kentucky decides to divorce, it may be the case that they are not on equal footing financially. For example, perhaps one spouse gave up a potentially lucrative career to take care of the home. Or perhaps one spouse has more education -- and earning potential -- than the other. Differences in each party's financial circumstances could lead to one party having to pay spousal support to the other party following a divorce.
Historically, spousal support payments were meant to be permanent. However, with more and more women entering our country's workforce, these days a spousal support order will not necessarily last the rest of the receiving spouse's life. Further complicating matters is the fact that an order for spousal support can be based on a variety of factors, with no two cases being exactly alike.
Accordingly, there are several variations on spousal support awards that may come into play. While sometimes spousal support awards may be permanent, lasting until either spouse passes away or until the receiving spouse remarries, whichever happens first, other times spousal support awards will be temporary. A temporary spousal support award may be entered into while the couple is separated, but prior to their divorce being finalized.
In addition, a spousal support award can be considered rehabilitative. This means that whichever spouse earns less will be awarded spousal support, but only for as long as it takes for that spouse to find a job in order to support him or herself.
Moreover, sometimes a spousal support award will constitute a reimbursement, meaning that it is calculated to pay a spouse back for any expenses, such as college tuition, that the spouse took on while married. Finally, in some circumstances spousal support may be awarded as a one-time lump sum, rather than as monthly payments. This may be the case if one spouse decided not to pursue any of the marital assets.
Understanding the various options for spousal support can be key in pursuing an appropriate award. While the issue of spousal support can be contentious, it does not erase the fact that sometimes a spouse needs to be awarded spousal support in order for each party's economic circumstances to be fair following a divorce. A Kentucky divorce attorney can help spouses decide whether pursuing spousal support is an option and what form that spousal support should take.