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Maintenance

Maintenance (alimony) may be awarded to either spouse if the court finds that the spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient assets to provide for his or her reasonable needs, and is unable to support himself or herself 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. When awarding the duration and amount of maintenance, the court shall consider all relevant factors including:

• The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including marital property awarded to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently, including any provisions for child support for that party as custodian;

• The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to find appropriate employment;

• The comparative earning capability of each spouse;

• The standard of living established during the marriage;

• The obligations and assets of each party;

• The duration of the marriage;

• The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;

•The ability of the obligated spouse to meet his needs while meeting the needs of the spouse seeking maintenance;

• The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and

• Any other factors that the court deems relevant.

There is no magic formula for determining when maintenance will be granted by a court.  Each judge has a different idea as to what makes a case worthy of maintenance and the presence of so many factors to consider just makes it that much more unpredictable.  As a very general rule, courts tend to look at the length of the marriage and the disparity in income between the parties before considering other factors. But again, that will not always be the case.  Maintenance can be temporary or permanent.  However, remarriage of the spouse receiving  maintenance  shall terminate it.