Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, can be awarded to either spouse in a divorce. To support the award, the Court must find that the spouse seeking maintenance (1) lacks sufficient property, including marital properly awarded, to meet their reasonable needs, and (2) the spouse is unable to support themselves through appropriate employment OR is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home. The spouse seeking maintenance must be able to demonstrate a need for it, and maintenance is not awarded as a form of compensation for breach of the “marital contract”.

There is no set formula for the calculation of maintenance in some states, it is determined on a case by case basis. In other states there are more specific guidelines. Duration of the marriage is an important factor also in cases where one spouse forgoes the development of a career while the other is free to advance a career, and maintenance is awarded more often in marriages longer than 10 years, but can be awarded in a marriage of any duration. Ability to pay and earning capacity are also important factors, and the party receiving maintenance has an affirmative duty to seek employment.

DivorceLink attorneys will consider all parties involved, and treat all parties with the respect and care they deserve.

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