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How Does Spousal Support Terminate?

Pursuant to KRS 403.250 unless otherwise agreed to or included in the divorce decree, spousal support terminates by death of either party or by remarriage of the party receiving the support.  It can also be included that cohabitation is a change of circumstances which can be grounds to terminate or lessen a child support obligation. The spousal support or maintenance may also be modified "only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unconscionable. The provisions as to property disposition may not be revoked or modified, unless the court finds the existence of conditions that justify the reopening of a judgment under the laws of this state." The statutes do not provide for what is and what is not a change so substantial as to make the terms unconscionable, but that additional term of unconscionability is clearly a higher burden than simply unfair or inequitable.  There is very little case law on modifications, and most of the case law is very fact specific, meaning that your case may be similar but distinguishable from those reported cases.  In short, the decision of the trial courts is most often upheld by the court of appeals since overturning the decision requires a finding that the trial court's ruling was considered arbitrary and capricious. For example, if your ex-wife is making more money, you are making less money and she now has a roommate or live-in boyfriend, this may be a substantial and continuing change of circumstances sufficient to make the terms of the Decree unconscionable. If you have questions or concerns about your divorce decree and want to inquire about modification of an award of maintenance or spousal support, contact an attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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