Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

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Maintenance (alimony) and the maid

In determining an award of maintenance (what we in Kentucky call alimony), the trial court must consder the following factors set out in KRS 403.200(2):

    (a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently . . .
    (b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
    (c) The standard of living established during the marriage;
    (d) The duration of the marriage;
    (e) The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
    (f) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals found, in Clark v. Clark, (2005-CA-002502-MR)(to be published), that the trial court only considered one of these factors: the husband’s ability to meet his own reasonable living expenses while paying maintenance to the wife.

Evelyn, the wife, put forth evidence that her reasonable living expenses would be just under $1,000.00 a month. However, she was getting by on her $481.00 of social security income by relying on her daughter to allow her to live with her for free. Interestingly, the trial court rewarded Evelyns thrift and the daughter’s generosity, after 19 years of marriage, by REDUCING her reasonable expenses by excluding rent. This left her with a temporary maintenance award of $300.00 per month until the litigation was over and a lifetime maintenance award of only $100.00.

Perhaps the trial court just did not want to create a hardship on Adrian, the husband. After all, he was barely able to make ends meet too:

    “Adrian’s monthly living expenses, including cable, maid service, $200.00 for entertainment and $320.00 for maintaining his house and property, totaled $1,962.00. His monthly income was $1,700.00. We note that the parties had a disparity of $1,006.00 in living expenses and $1,219.00 in income each month.”

Id. at 10. Thankfully for Evelyn, the Court of Appeals was not so indulgent of Adrian’s lifestyle, nor so thrifty regarding Evelyn’s, as the trial court. I wonder whether Adrian fires the maid or cuts the cable when the maintenance gets bumped up?


September 23, 2007 - Posted by | Divorce, Family Law

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