Will I have to pay spousal support if my spouse quits their job but is able to work?

In Kansas, the court always has the power to decide the circumstances under which spousal support should – or should not – be paid, as well as the term and amount of that support.

When determining if either party should receive spousal support from the other and the amount and length of that award, Kansas courts look at many factors: the length of the parties’ marriage, how long the parties have lived together, the parties’ relative education and job experience, the parties’ respective past and present health, whether the parties agree that spousal maintenance is appropriate, whether some support is necessary to enable a spouse to complete an education or to become self-supporting, and the parties’ reasonably necessary living expenses. There may be some circumstances in which the parties agree to a spousal support award because of available tax advantages (spousal support may be deductible by the person paying the support and taxable to the person receiving the support).

Judges in Kansas are required to analyze a laundry list of factors in order to decide whether spousal support is appropriate in any particular case and, if it is, the judge analyzes those factors and a number of other facts to decide both the amount and length of any support ordered. Some counties (e.g. Johnson) have rough guidelines about what spousal support should be awarded in a “typical” case. But those guidelines are not law. And they are not binding on the court in any way. The court has complete discretion under all the circumstances presented to decide that spousal support should – or should not – be granted.
As always, the best way to find out if spousal support is appropriate in a particular case is to seek advise from a knowledgable family lawyer. The lawyers at Ronald W. Nelson, PA, have years of experience in helping clients seeking – and defending against – awards of spousal support.