How Long will I Pay or Receive Spousal Maintenance and How Much will it Be?

The answer to this question is very complex. There is no formula supported by law which determines the length or amount of spousal maintenance. Due to the subjective nature of the factors involved, there is often a wide range of possible outcomes . The length and amount of the award of spousal maintenance depends on a number of factors including :the standard of living established during the marriage; the duration of the marriage; the age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse’s needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market; the contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse; the extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse; the ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children; the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet that spouse’s own needs independently; the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available; excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common; and the cost for the spouse seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought, if any.