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Spousal Maintenance

What is the purpose of spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is meant to balance the economic effect of divorce between the spouses by providing continuous income to the non-wage-earning, or low-wage-earning spouse. The reason for this is that in many cases one spouse will pursue their career to provide for the family and the other spouse will provide direct care for the family, forgoing the years of training and work experience they otherwise would have had to be able to provide for themselves.

Negotiating Spousal Maintenance Terms

While going through your divorce, one of the issues that will need to determine is whether spousal maintenance will need to be paid. Spousal support may be awarded to one or the other former spouses based on an agreement that they reach together or it can be done at the court’s discretion. In negotiating terms of spousal maintenance it is important to have a clear picture of the facts on all relevant factors. If you are seeking spousal maintenance it is also important to have a plan for how you expect to achieve your professional goals post-divorce.

What determines the amount of spousal support?

The amount of spousal support that will be awarded is determined upon consideration of several factors, including:

  • Age
  • Physical condition
  • Emotional state
  • Financial condition
  • Length of time needed for training to become self-sufficient
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability to pay support and still support one’s self

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