What is maintenance?

Maintenance is an award of spousal support which can be permanent or temporary, in an amount which the court deems just, regardless of marital misconduct. There are several factors which the court will consider when deciding if maintenance is appropriate.

These include, but are not limited to, the income and property of each spouse, including marital and non-marital property; the needs of each party; the present and future earning capacity of each party; any impairment of the present or future earning capacity due to the party devoting time to domestic duties or having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage; the time necessary to enable to the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment; the standard of living established during the marriage; the duration of the marriage; the age and physical and emotional condition of both parties; the tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties; contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career potential, or license of the other spouse; any vowed agreement of the parties; and other factors that the court expressly finds to be just and equitable.

So as you can see, there are many factors that the court will take into consideration in determining whether or not to award maintenance. I feel that the two biggest factors are the length of the marriage and the income of the parties. You can also factor in the third one, which is the lifestyle that the parties have grown accustomed to during the marriage. However, I have found the length of the marriage and the income of the parties are the key two factors of the many factors in determining whether or not to award maintenance, and how much and for how long.