It is no secret that a large percentage of marriages are broken up because of infidelity and financial problems. If your marriage has unraveled because one of you cheated, you may be wondering if adultery impacts a spouse’s right to receive maintenance, which other states is call alimony or spousal support. As many spouses know, cheating often has consequences. Aside from the effect of cheating on the marriage itself, cheating may affect the divorce process and any awards received by the spouses. Each state varies on how exactly adultery will affect an alimony award, and so this article is intended to clarify that issue for the state of Kentucky.
Kentucky is a No-Fault Divorce State
No-fault divorce states let spouses file for divorce simply due to irreconcilable differences, and usually no fault states are not concerned with marital misconduct, unless it involves domestic violence or wasteful spending of marital assets. Therefore in a no-fault state such as Kentucky the family court judges are not interested in hearing about a cheating spouse’s misconduct.
Kentucky Spousal Maintenance
Kentucky law refers to alimony as spousal maintenance. Maintenance can come in the form of either lump sum, periodic/temporary, or permanent/open-ended payments of support. Permanent and open-ended awards are quite rare, as one of the court’s main goals in awarding spousal maintenance is to rehabilitate the financially inferior spouse. The purpose of maintenance is not to either provide a permanent source of income or to punish a spouse, but rather to provide help to a spouse so that he or she can reach a point where self-sufficiency is possible.
How Cheating Can Affect the Kentucky Divorce Property Decision
Adultery can affect the amount and duration of the award. Fault on the part of the payor spouse will not affect a spousal maintenance award but adultery can affect the amount and duration of the award. Being a victim of an adulterous spouse does not entitle a spouse to additional spousal maintenance. The only circumstance where adultery is considered is where the adulterous spouse is being awarded spousal maintenance; such a circumstance will justify a reduction in the spousal maintenance award if they are the cheating party. And the judge may be interested if a cheating spouse wasted marital assets on a romantic partner. When a spouse wastes marital assets it can affect the property division or the amount of maintenance.
We can help families on both sides of this issue. We are committed to helping families resolve legal challenges and get back to their lives. We offer the guidance and support that you will need when you are involved with the legal system.
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