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When a Kentucky couple decides to divorce, there are many issues that will be considered as the proceeding moves forward. This is true whether the couple can negotiate and come to an amicable agreement or there is a contentious court case. Custody of children, property division and more will be considered. One part of the case that is frequently disagreed upon is spousal maintenance. Often, there is a belief that the male spouse will always pay maintenance to a female spouse. However, the law says that either spouse can be ordered to pay maintenance and there are multiple issues that will factor in.

The court can grant maintenance for either spouse in certain situations. This can be done if the court finds that the spouse who is requesting maintenance meets the following criteria: he or she lacks the property to provide for his or her reasonable needs – this will include marital property granted as part of property division; and the person cannot support him or herself via appropriate employment or has custody of a child who has a condition or is in a situation that the custodial parent should not be asked to seek employment.

The court will determine the duration and the amount in the order. The following factors will be weighed when making that determination: the financial resources of the person seeking maintenance, whether he or she can meet the needs on their own, and the amount needed to care for a child; how much time it will take for the person to receive the education needed to be able to find an appropriate job; what the standard of living was while the couple was married; how long the marriage lasted; the age and condition of the spouse who wants to receive maintenance; and the ability of the prospective paying spouse to meet the needs of him or herself while supporting the receiving spouse.

There are situations where maintenance is necessary for a variety of reasons. The spouse who is requesting it and the spouse who is being asked to pay must be cognizant of how to handle this. A legal professional who understands all areas that will be in dispute at the end of a marriage can help with a case whether it is a spouse who is being asked for maintenance or a spouse who is asking for maintenance. Contacting an attorney is critical.