How is spousal support determined?
There is no absolute right to spousal support (also called ‘alimony’ or ‘maintenance’) in Kansas. A determination of how much – and whether – spousal support is appropriate depends on the specific facts in each case.
When deciding whether any person should receive spousal support, the courts consider many facts including:
the parties’ ages;
the parties’ current and future earning capacities;
the parties’ current and future financial needs;
the parties’ health;
the parties’ family ties and obligations;
the parties’ overall financial resources and abilities to support him or herself;
the length of the parties’ relationship and marriage;
the parties’ education and job experience;
whether there is a ‘need’ for spousal support and an ‘ability’ to pay spousal support;
whether the parties agree that spousal maintenance is appropriate;
whether some support is necessary to enable a spouse to complete an education or become self-supporting.
There are some situations in which spouses agree to pay spousal support because of available tax advantages. Spousal support may be deductible by the person paying support and taxable to the person receiving the support.
Kansas law provides that spousal support may be granted for no longer than 121-months ‘in an initial term.’ But the court can reserve its power to extend spousal support beyond that ‘initial term’ in appropriate situations.
In the end, the decision about how long and in what amount spousal support is appropriate is made by the judge – or the parties if they are able to agree – based on that judge’s informed discretion after hearing from the parties and reviewing the evidence presented.