Understanding the issues behind alimony reform

When it comes to alimony, many people in Kentucky have different opinions as to what constitutes fair and appropriate alimony laws. Some people across the nation are even calling for alimony reform. However, it is important to have a good understanding of what alimony is, and why people do or do not want to see it reformed.

Alimony -- also called spousal support -- is a legally enforceable order of the court dictating that one former spouse pay financial support to the other former spouse after they divorce. Each state, including Kentucky, has laws about spousal support. However, in general, spousal support can be paid either as a single-time payment or in regular payments, and it may be either rehabilitative or permanent. Rehabilitative spousal support is temporary until the receiving spouse can adequately support him or herself financially. Permanent spousal support does not have a certain date in which payments will cease.

In some states where permanent alimony is still awarded, there is a push for alimony reform. For example, some proponents of alimony reform want to do away with permanent alimony, seeing it as unnecessary in an age where both men and women have jobs and are able to support themselves. However, some believe that alimony is still an essential means of support for a spouse who left the workforce to raise a family and may not have the same earning power as the spouse who worked during the marriage.

In the end, it is important to remember that just as no two marriages are alike, each spousal support case in Kentucky is unique, and will be treated as such. Spouses in Kentucky who are concerned that they are not receiving an appropriate amount of alimony, or those, on the other hand, who feel that they are paying an unfair amount of alimony, may want to explore their legal options.