Can You Modify Or Terminate Permanent Alimony In Kentucky?

Can You Modify Or Terminate Permanent Alimony In Kentucky?

You might think that you will always have to pay alimony. That could be the case if you live in Kentucky. The laws on alimony in Kentucky allow for payments to be made for life. There are, however, ways to change and stop paying permanent alimony.

Does Kentucky Permit Lifetime Spousal Support Or Permanent Alimony Payments?

If a couple was married for less than 20 years, Kentucky law usually does not allow judges to order alimony or spousal support for a longer time than the marriage. When deciding how much and how long a person has to pay alimony, the court looks at a number of factors.


In Kentucky, the following types of alimony are given:


  • Reimbursement alimony
  • Rehabilitative alimony
  • Alimony for a limited time
  • Open durational alimony has replaced the term “permanent alimony.” 


Permanent alimony is only given by the courts in rare cases. If your situation led to permanent spousal support payments, you may be able to change or end permanent spousal support.

Situations In KY That Would Let You End Or Change Permanent Alimony

In Kentucky, alimony with no end date is called “open durational alimony.” There is no set date when the payments will end. Permanent alimony is only given to people who have been married for more than 20 years or in other cases where there are very special circumstances.


If there is a big change in the situation, the court can change or stop permanent alimony.


There are some reasons why open-ended alimony could be changed or stopped, such as:


  • When your ex-spouse gets remarried, permanent alimony comes to an end.
  • Your ex-spouse moves in with someone else to have a long-term relationship. This is called cohabiting.
  • Your ex-spouse dies, so you no longer have to pay support.
  • You can’t work if you get sick or hurt, especially if Social Security tells you that you’re disabled.
  • You lose your job permanently for reasons that are not your fault, or you go through another major financial crisis that has long-term effects on your finances.
  • You reach the age of full retirement, or you can show that your request to retire early was made in good faith.
  • Your ex-spouse can support himself or herself financially.


It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t stop paying alimony even if you think you have a reason to change or stop the payments. Instead, you should talk to a spousal support lawyer in McCracken County about how to change or stop the payments.


Unless your ex-spouse has died, you will likely need to file a motion with the court to change how much support you pay. The court will set up a hearing, and your ex-spouse will be told about it.


At the hearing, it’s up to you to show that a big change in your situation makes it fair to change the amount or stop paying support. Your ex-spouse can present evidence refuting your allegations.


If the judge rules in your favor, your permanent alimony payments should stop or get smaller. The first thing you should do is talk to a McCracken County alimony lawyer about your situation.


You and your ex-spouse might be able to come to an agreement to change permanent alimony in some situations. If so, you can show the agreement to the court and ask that it be written into a new order.

What Are The Exceptions To Kentucky Alimony Payments That Make Them Permanent?

The goal of the change in Kentucky’s alimony laws was to make sure that the rules were fair. The changes also made it clearer when a judge could order alimony to last forever.


State law allows permanent alimony payments to be given to a spouse in the following situations:


  • The tax issues of either partner
  • How old each party was when they got married and how old they are when alimony is given
  • How the marriage affects either person’s ability to make a living on their own, like if one person has to be the main caregiver for a child.
  • How long and how much either spouse was dependent on the other during their marriage?
  • Whether one of the spouses got a bigger share of the marital property than the other.
  • Whether a spouse has a rare illness or a long-term illness
  • Whether one spouse gave up a job or a job opportunity to help the other spouse’s career.

A judge can also take into account any other facts and circumstances that they think are important, fair, and relevant to the issue of spousal support.


Paying alimony for life can be hard on the person who has to pay it. Changes in a person’s life can have a big effect on whether or not they can pay alimony. If you are having trouble making alimony payments, you should talk to a lawyer before you fall behind and have to pay penalties for not paying alimony.

Contact the family lawyers at Paducah Divorce Lawyers today if you need legal help. Visit our law office in McCracken County or give us a call at (270) 201-7776 to set up a free consultation with our team.