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Understanding what alimony is and how it is awarded

When a couple decides to go their separate ways and dissolve their relationship, among one of the reasons each of the partners in the marriage will rush to hire their own attorneys is to protect their access to the lifestyle they are accustomed to living. While some couples have prenups in place that pre-determine what becomes of a relationship should it come to an end, those who don't inevitably end up fighting it out in court.

When it comes to couples where one of the individuals is a homemaker while the other works or there is some other type of situation where there is a disparate income between one party and another, it is not all that uncommon that a request for alimony is waged. An awarding of alimony by a judge is intended to reduce any incidence of there being an unfair economic disadvantage that one party suffers as a result of a divorce.

Alimony has to do with the potential that one person in the relationship gave up certain educational opportunities or career aspirations in exchange for fulfilling some other role in the family dynamic. Likewise, a party to a relationship may have become accustomed to a certain standard of living that an absence of the same financial means may no longer afford. In these cases, these choices can be reasons to award alimony.

Like most states, Kentucky subscribes to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act in determining how much alimony should awarded to a spouse. Factors taken into consideration in making this decision include the standard of living within and the length of the marriage in addition to understanding the mental, physical and financial states of both spouses.

Also of concern are understanding the length of time necessary for the dependent spouse to get on his or her feet and the ability of the spouse to continue supporting the other and still providing for oneself. Alimony only lasts as long as it is needed to give the receiving spouse the training or financial bridge necessary to be self-sustaining.

If you are thinking about getting divorced, an attorney can discuss with you how to best protect yourself and your finances so that you can continue to uphold the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to living.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Spousal support (alimony) basics," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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