Making ends meet with spousal main-tenance
Spousal maintenance (alimony) is a payment from one spouse to the other to help lessen the financial hardship that often accompanies divorce. It is meant to assist the more financially-dependent spouse, not to punish a spouse who may have caused the marriage to fail. Either spouse may request maintenance from the other, regardless of how the marriage ended.
The basic question is simple: does one of the divorcing spouses need financial help to meet their reasonable living expenses? If the parties cannot agree on a maintenance amount, the court will consider a variety of factors including:
- the duration and standard of living during the marriage
- the requesting spouse’s age, physical and emotional condition
- both parties’ financial financial obligations
- the paying spouse’s ability to pay after living expenses and child support obligations
- the requesting spouse’s income, work history or other factors affecting financial independence
- the requesting spouse’s contributions to the other spouse’s education or career, if the requesting spouse interrupted or delayed a career for the sake of the family
- any other reasons (such as a child’s disability) that would prevent the requesting spouse from working outside the home
- any prenuptial agreement terms that might require, waive, limit or condition the right to receive maintenance
In many cases, not all of these factors will point in the same direction for or against maintenance. I can review your situation and let you know the strengths and weaknesses of your request for maintenance, and help you present your strongest possible position, first in negotiations, and if necessary in court.
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