In Kansas, a divorce decree may award to either party something called maintenance, which refers to an amount set by the court to financially assist a spouse, whether in the form of a lump sum payment or on a monthly basis for an enumerated period of time. A court has significant discretion in determining whether or not a party must pay spousal support. Since there is no absolute right to receive maintenance, the court will consider numerous factors in determining one's entitlement to same, which include but are not limited to, the financial needs of the recipient spouse, the other spouse's ability to pay, the respective ages of the parties, the parties' current and future ability to earn income, the financial conditions of the parties, and whether the parties mishandled marital property (such as dissipating marital accounts and assets, etc.). Keep in mind however, that many counties within Kansas have developed their own guidelines and as such, it is important to speak with an attorney who can advise you of the specifics of your jurisdiction.
As for a court ordered periodic maintenance award, it is typically limited to 121 months however, the parties to the divorce may agree to a longer term. Generally, court ordered maintenance awards usually terminate upon the death of either spouse or the subsequent marriage of the receiving spouse. A court approved agreement between the parties can also set the parameters of when a maintenance award terminates, such as if the recipient party cohabitates with another person or upon the happening of another, clearly defined event.
There are several ways in which a party can pay maintenance. Although the paying party can, according to the agreement of the parties, make direct payments to the recipient spouse, maintenance payments can also be made through the Kansas Payment Center, or KPC. According to the KPC, the receiving spouse must create and an account and can then decide to receive the support payments whether through a debit card, direct deposit or written check.
If a paying party fails to render maintenance payments, the recipient spouse can seek a judgment against the payor for all accrued arrearages. Judgments can be enforced in a number of ways, such as through garnishing the payor's wagers and seizing bank accounts. Moreover, a party who does not render maintenance payments can also be held in contempt of court, which in certain circumstances, can lead to significant penalties, fines, attorney's fees, and possibly, jail time.
Lastly, a court that issued the divorce decree maintains exclusive and continuing jurisdiction to modify the maintenance award. Usually, maintenance awards can be modified under a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. For instance, if a payor involuntarily loses his or her job, that may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances warranting a modification.
If you are interested in getting a divorce, give us a call now to learn more about how we can help you get what you want out of your divorce case. Our team is highly experienced, skilled and capable of handling all types of Kansas divorce cases. We look forward to providing you with excellent representation.
Tags: Kansas Divorce Attorney
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 11:39 am and is filed under Divorce. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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