Alimony can be awarded as part of a Wichita divorce when the court decides that it is fair to do so. It’s important to understand that alimony is only awarded when spouses are in need of that financial support, and it will continue until that support is no longer needed or in other circumstances. Working with a Wichita spousal support attorney can help you achieve the ideal outcome in your divorce agreement. They can also help you determine if you are able to modify the alimony you pay.

The long-term goal of awarding this support is to enable both spouses to maintain their standard of living after divorce and allow the lower-earning spouse to achieve independence. Paying alimony can sometimes be a financial frustration, and spouses often wonder how long they will be required to pay it.

The Basics of Alimony

Alimony is not very common in divorces anymore. These payments, which are made from one spouse to another during or after divorce proceedings, would be needed when one spouse did not work or advance their career as much due to caring for the home and/or children. Although divorce is financially difficult for both spouses, a spouse who does not have the same job growth or educational opportunities has many more financial uncertainties. Alimony exists to prevent this.

Alimony can be paid as a lump sum, through periodic payments, as a percentage of the paying spouse’s income, or any other method the court deems appropriate. The only guideline the court has in Kansas when deciding alimony is what is equitable and just. The state has limits for how long alimony can be awarded, but even those limits can be changed in specific cases.

What Does the Court Consider When Awarding Alimony?

Alimony is not automatic, but it can be awarded if it is needed. Spouses can agree on alimony or the lack thereof in a separation agreement, or they can have the court decide for them. The factors that the court considers when awarding alimony are the same factors it uses to determine if the arrangement that the spouses came to is fair to both.

Although Kansas does not have a specific statute outlining what courts should review to determine alimony, there are certain common factors that are looked at.

These may include:

  1. How long a couple was married
  2. The standard of living that each spouse came to enjoy during that time
  3. Each spouse’s age, physical health, and mental health
  4. Each spouse’s contributions to marital property and the marriage
  5. The separate financial resources of each spouse
  6. The time and ability needed for a spouse to secure the training or education required to obtain employment
  7. Whether the paying spouse is able to meet their needs and pay support

Depending on the specific court, other factors may be considered when determining what is fair and reasonable alimony. The awarding of alimony is also a factor in the equitable distribution of property, so it may affect how assets or debts are split by the court.

The Maximum Length of Alimony

In Kansas, the longest that alimony can be awarded for is 121 months. At the end of the support award, the supported spouse can file for reinstatement. If the court awards it, the alimony again cannot be awarded for longer than 121 months. However, if spouses reach an agreement together, they can agree on different guidelines for support, including going past this limitation. Once a divorce order is finalized, the amount of time that alimony is awarded is how long you must pay it.

Can Alimony Be Changed Before the Order Expires?

Yes, alimony can be modified before the official end of alimony payments if there are specific life changes. In a separation agreement, spouses can agree on circumstances in which the payments will end or change. If a supported spouse dies, the payments end. Payments can also be modified if there is a relevant and significant change in the circumstances of either party. If the modification increases the alimony that is paid, the paying spouse must consent to this modification.


Q: How Long Do You Have to Pay Alimony in Kansas?

A: The amount of time that you must pay alimony in Kansas will depend on your unique case and how long the court order states that you must pay it. In Kansas, alimony cannot be awarded for longer than 121 months, or ten years and one month, unless it is allowed by agreement. Alimony is meant to be fair and equitable to both parties, so changes in financial circumstances may result in alimony being modified. Such a change can include the supported spouse remarrying.

Q: How Is Alimony Calculated in Kansas?

A: Alimony is calculated in Kansas based on what is fair, just, and equitable. The state does not have laws about specific calculation methods nor specific factors that the court should review to determine what is fair. Alimony may be awarded through a lump-sum payment, periodic payments, or a percentage of the paying spouse’s income.

Each court has the discretion to determine what is equitable, and it may review factors such as the financial resources of each spouse and how long they were married.

Q: How Can You Avoid Paying Alimony in Kansas?

A: You can avoid paying alimony in Kansas if you can prove that your spouse is not in need of financial support or that you are unable to pay support while meeting your own basic needs. If you and your spouse create a separation agreement outside of court, then the court has less say in decisions like awarding alimony. As long as the final agreement is fair to both spouses, the court will agree to it.

Q: What Disqualifies You From Receiving Alimony in Kansas?

A: Kansas does not state any factors that disqualify an individual from receiving alimony, although there are situations where the court would likely decide it is not fair, just, or equitable to award alimony to a spouse. The court is less likely to award alimony if the spouse who would be supported does not have financial need or has committed abuse or other forms of domestic violence. Less serious forms of marital misconduct could impact the decision of whether to award alimony, as well.

Contact Stange Law Firm in Wichita

If you need to negotiate or modify your alimony payments, contact the team at Stange Law Firm today.