When you dissolve your marriage, the court can order spousal maintenance, more commonly known as alimony, to prevent a dependent spouse from suffering undue financial hardship. There is no absolute right to alimony in Kansas. The determination is gender neutral and depends entirely on the parties’ finances. At The Henry Law Firm, P.A., with offices in Overland Park, we advocate for our clients’ eligibility for alimony to the extent allowed by law. When representing a paying spouse, we fight scrupulously for fairness in determining the amount of the award. Whenever possible, we try to fashion a workable agreement that is acceptable to both parties, thereby avoiding unnecessary litigation and expense.
Alimony can be temporary or long-term in duration. A dependent spouse can petition for temporary maintenance during the divorce process. When the divorce is finalized, the court can order various types of maintenance, including:
The court can order lump-sum alimony or regular payments over time. Whether to order maintenance, how much to order and for how long are all questions the court must decide based on numerous factors. However, in Kansas, there are limitations imposed by statute, and generally by local court rules.
Statewide, spousal support is limited to 121 months with a one-time extension of no more than 121 months. However, the parties can agree to a longer period of support. Many counties in Kansas have created spousal maintenance guidelines. In Johnson County, the presumptive level of monthly maintenance is 25 percent of the difference between the spouses’ annual incomes. If the income difference is greater than $50,000, maintenance is calculated at 25 percent plus 22 percent of the remaining difference.
In marriages of five years’ duration or less, alimony can last for the length of the marriage divided by 2.5. This means the greatest length of alimony is two years. For marriages of greater than five years’ duration, alimony can last for two years plus one-third of the length of the marriage.
Despite the guidelines, judges still have discretion in this area, so it’s important to have skilled and experienced legal counsel who are diligent in representing your particular and unique needs and issues before the court in order to obtain favorable terms. Key factors in any maintenance dispute include:
Spousal maintenance is subject to modification by court order if justified by a “substantial change in circumstances,” such as:
Because of the complexities of spousal support law in Kansas, you need experienced counsel to pursue a fair result. Our attorneys partner closely with you to protect your financial future.
Family law financial support issues weigh heavily on your future. The Henry Law Firm, P.A., with offices in Overland Park, is determined to help you obtain a result that places you on solid financial ground. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.