Spousal support—frequently referred to as alimony or maintenance—can be a contentious part of any divorce proceeding. Spousal support is a court-mandated monthly payment from one former spouse to another. These payments may only last throughout the course of the divorce, or they could continue after the divorce is finalized.
If you are going through a divorce, spousal support could be an important factor to consider. A seasoned family law attorney could advise you on your rights and potential liabilities regarding spousal support. Consulting with a Junction City spousal support lawyer prior to pursuing a divorce could increase your chances of a fair outcome.
Forms of Spousal Support
There are three types of spousal support. Each type serves its own purpose, and a judge could award more than one form of support throughout the course of a divorce. A Junction City attorney could provide insight into the relevant types of spousal support depending on the circumstances of a divorce.
Temporary Spousal Support
As the name implies, temporary spousal support is not intended to last long. This type of support is designed to provide for a spouse during an ongoing divorce proceeding. Typically, temporary spousal support orders will eventually be amended to short-term or long-term spousal support obligations in the final divorce decree. In some cases, a court may award temporary spousal support during a divorce but not award any form of support moving forward once the divorce is final.
Short-Term Spousal Support
The purpose of short-term spousal support is to put a lower-income spouse in a position to earn a higher income as a single person. This is sometimes referred to as rehabilitative support. Typically, short-term support will only last long enough to allow a spouse to secure a professional license, complete their education, or otherwise prepare for the workforce.
Long-Term Spousal Support
Long-term spousal support is fairly uncommon. This type of support is designed to protect a spouse that is unable to support themselves following a divorce. This inability to work could stem from advanced age, physical injury, or other disability.
The 121 Month Rule
Unlike many jurisdictions, there is a hard limit on the length of spousal support for Junction City divorce cases. The law limiting the length of a spousal support order is known as the 121 Month Rule and is outlined in Kansas Statute § 23-2904.
Under this rule, a judge may not order spousal support to last more than 121 months. Despite this limitation, the court does have some flexibility with extending support beyond 121 months. If the original divorce decree empowers the judge to reassess support at the end of the 121-month period, it is possible for the court to do so after reviewing the financial circumstances of each spouse. A skilled spousal support lawyer in Junction City could work to include language allowing a judge to extend the support obligation beyond 121 months.
Discuss Your Options with a Junction City Spousal Support Attorney
It is never in your best interest to simply assume a spousal support hearing will turn out in your favor. With the right legal counsel, you could improve your odds of a favorable outcome.
Do not put your financial future at risk by pursuing divorce proceedings on your own. Reach out to Junction City spousal support lawyer to discuss your options.