SB 1364
Modifies provisions relating to domestic relations, including maintenance orders
LR Number:
Last Action:
2/1/2024 - Second Read and Referred S Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Journal Page:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2024

Current Bill Summary

SB 1364 - Under this act, the General Assembly declares that every spouse has a continuing duty to become self-supporting following the dissolution of a marriage and that maintenance is not intended to be a substitute for gainful employment, without limitation, or as a guaranty of a certain standard of living.

This act modifies the factors that a court shall consider when awarding spousal maintenance, including care of a disabled or incapacitated adult dependent and the efforts a spouse takes to become self-supporting.

This act creates three categories of spousal maintenance orders that may be awarded by a court in certain proceedings based on the length of marriage and the type of maintenance needed by the parties. For the purposes of the act, a short-term marriage is defined as having a duration of less than 7 years, a moderate-term marriage as having a duration of 7 to less than 17 years, and a long-term marriage as having a duration of 17 or more years.

"Bridge" maintenance orders may be awarded to a party to a short-term marriage to provide support for legitimate short-term needs for no more than 2 years. Such awards shall not be modifiable in duration or amount.

"Rehabilitative" maintenance orders may be awarded to assist a party to a short-term marriage or a moderate-term marriage. Such awards are designed to facilitate self-support through the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials or the acquisition of education, training, or work experience and the development and implementation of a career plan and goals. Such an order shall not exceed 4 years in duration and may be modified or terminated as described in the act.

"Durational" maintenance orders may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of a party as established during a moderate-term or long-term marriage. A durational maintenance order shall not remain in effect for more than: (1) 5 years, if the marriage lasted 7 to less than 12 years; (2) 7 years, if the marriage lasted 12 to less than 17 years; and (3) 10 years, if the marriage lasted 17 or more years. Durational maintenance orders may be modified as specified in the act.

A court may exceed the durational limits set forth in this act in awarding durational maintenance or modifying rehabilitative or durational maintenance only if the court specifically finds, after consideration of all relevant factors, that the durational limits are not appropriate, as described in the act. The court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law setting forth the grounds for exceeding the durational limits. Absent findings from the court, the maximum duration of any maintenance awarded shall be the lesser of a time period equal to 50% of the duration of the marriage at issue, calculated from the date of the marriage through separation, or 15 years.

Maintenance orders may be subject to modification or termination if it can be shown that the recipient and another person have entered into a mutually supportive relationship that is the functional equivalent of marriage that has lasted for at least 12 months in an 18-month period.

For purposes of modification of prior orders establishing maintenance, the provisions of this act shall be applicable to all initial actions and modifications decided on or after August 28, 2024. Either party to a maintenance order entered prior to August 28, 2024, may file a modification to classify maintenance as bridge, rehabilitative, or durational or to shorten or lengthen the duration of maintenance in accordance with the provisions of this act.

Currently, a spousal maintenance or child support order may be modified upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable. Under this act, a maintenance order may be modified upon a showing of substantial and continuing changed circumstances.

These provisions are substantially similar to HB 1942 (2024) and HCS/HB 2851 (2024) and similar to SCS/SB 199 (2021), SB 961 (2020), SB 772 (2020), HCS/HB 194 (2019), and SB 307 (2019).



No Amendments Found.