Divorce is a difficult and stressful process for all parties involved. One of the most contentious issues is spousal support which is also known as alimony but commonly referred to as maintenance. Maintenance is financial support that one spouse pays to the other either during or after a divorce. The purpose of maintenance is to provide a means of financial support to a spouse who is often referred to and considered the “non-monied spouse.” This designation usually denotes spouses who left and remained out of the workforce to be the stay-at-home parent or because of a disability/other personal reason.
When it comes to maintenance, it’s important for individuals to work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can help them navigate the legal system and advocate for their rights and interests. An experienced divorce lawyer will have a deep understanding of the laws and procedures that govern maintenance, and will be able to provide guidance and support throughout the process. They will also be able to advocate for the maximum payout permissible under the law and which aligns with the unique factors of the client’s case. Most importantly, such a lawyer will also have a deep understanding of the laws and procedures that govern maintenance and will know how to expound upon these laws for the benefit of their client.
One of the first things that a divorce lawyer will do when dealing with a maintenance case is gather financial information from both parties. This may include information about income, assets, and expenses. This information will be used to determine the amount of maintenance that will be required, as well as the length of time that the support will be paid to the non-monied spouse from the, you guessed it, monied spouse.
Another important factor involved is the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more inclined the court will be to award maintenance the rationale being that historically a longer marriage denotes one spouse gave up career opportunities and earning potential to support the other spouse, and would require financial support to adjust to their new circumstances post-divorce.
Other factors that impact the amount and award of maintenance are the age and health of the parties, the earning capacity of each party, and the standard of living during the marriage, and tax implications of the maintenance award. These factors will be taken into account if the court deems any relevant to the case at hand..
In conclusion, maintenance can be a contentious issue in a divorce, but with the help of an experienced divorce lawyer, it will operate more as another “cog in the wheel” instead of a wrench.