Spousal maintenance, often referred to as “alimony,” is an Order requiring one spouse to continue to financially support the other. This support may be temporary in nature, or permanent. The ability of a spouse to seek maintenance during a divorce is based on several factors, including the need of the spouse seeking maintenance; the ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance; the length of the marriage; and the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage.
Marriage is treated as a joint enterprise between spouses. Their decisions made during the marriage are presumed to be joint decisions designed to support the entire family. Often, families decide that one spouse will work full-time and earn the income to support the family, while the other spouse stays at home to take care of children and fills the role of homemaker. The spouse without employment outside of the home is not left high and dry after a divorce; the decision for one partner to stay home is treated as a joint decision, and the working spouse will be expected to provide financial support for that spouse after the marriage ends.
The amount and duration of spousal maintenance is not scientific, and there are many factors that a court looks at in deciding spousal maintenance claims. It is very important for the spouse in need of maintenance to seek competent legal advice, so that the spouse may support himself/herself after the marriage. Spousal maintenance is based on principles of equity, referring to a homemaker’s sacrifice by foregoing acquiring employment, pensions, and other properties for the benefit of the other spouse and the children.
If you have questions regarding spousal maintenance, call (651) 756-8781 or email to schedule your free consultation. Never come to an agreement on spousal maintenance prior to speaking with a qualified attorney.