What Type of Alimony is Awarded?
In most cases, alimony is temporary. In fact, Kansas law prohibits the court from awarding maintenance for longer than 121 months. At that time, the need for support can be reviewed and additional support awarded.
There are three types of alimony awarded in Kansas:
- General support may be awarded when one spouse’s income is significantly higher than that of the other spouse.
- Reimbursement support may be awarded to pay back a spouse who provided significant financial support to the household while the other spouse pursued an education.
- Transition support may be awarded to a spouse who needs time to pursue education or training to qualify for employment that will provide adequate income for that spouse following the divorce.
What are the Determining Factors?
A spouse must demonstrate the need for alimony, and the other spouse must have the financial ability to pay spousal maintenance while meeting their own financial obligations. Other factors the court may consider include:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse during the marriage
- The age and physical and mental health of each spouse
- The need for further education or training for a spouse to become self-sufficient
Can Existing Alimony Arrangements be Modified?
The court may order future alimony payments to be modified or ended under circumstances included in the divorce decree. The 121-month rule still applies, even in cases when the alimony award is modified.
If the divorce decree provides for the court to review the alimony award for potential modifications to maintenance, and the spouse receiving alimony files a motion for modification prior to the expiration of the original maintenance period, the court may hold a hearing on the motion to decide whether the alimony should be reinstated.
How Does Alimony Affect Taxes?
In divorce cases settled after January 1, 2019, the payer is no longer able to deduct alimony payments from their income taxes, and the recipient is no longer required to report the spousal support as income. Since this change affects each spouse’s income and tax burden, it is wise to discuss award income and tax implications with an attorney.