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Kentucky and Alimony

A major issue which arises in the dissolution of a long-term marriage is that of spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony or spousal support. Too many lawyers frequently present it to clients as an "it exists, live with it" proposition, and laymen understand it only as the nebulous concept of alimony. This conclusive and nonexplanatory concept is constantly reinforced in the opinions of both trial and appellate courts, and this misconception is compounded through the earnest efforts of legal scholars in creating largely incomprehensible articles on the topic.

Because of this, the public has difficulty in understanding how maintenance awards are even justifiable in an age where there is a rough parity in employment and economic potential among men and women - this leads to misunderstanding between lawyer and client. To my way of thinking, it is important to distill the notion of why it exists down to an explanation that is simple yet not a soundbite, if only to clarify available options.

My professional approach to spousal maintenance is consistent with Kentucky law and recognizes the fact that a longterm marriage is a single economic entity for most of its duration; like a business entity, some are managed well and some are managed horribly, and that will affect the economic value of the whole entity. The participants in that marriage have certain specific expectations and roles in advancing the economic and social position of the marriage, each set of roles has some actual value which deserves recognition and recompense from the aggregate pool of marital assets. Once the litigants have a clearer understanding of the reason for the existence of maintenance, the crafting of an equitable property division and determining whether longterm maintenance is necessary becomes a more rational process.

Spending time exploring whether alimony or maintenance should be an issue in your family law matter is time well invested - this can help in terms of negotiation strategies.