Spousal maintenance is perhaps the least understood aspect of divorce. For that reason, you need someone working with you who is focused on protecting your interests even when matters become emotional and complicated.
What is Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is a temporary financial equalizer to help ease the transition after a divorce when one spouse has focused most, if not all, of their effort on making a living to provide for the family’s financial needs while the other spouse has maintained the household and taken care of any children.
We understand that every case may vary, however, these are some general guidelines for spousal maintenance.
- 1-5 years of marriage. Judges typically see this as too short of a marriage to grant spousal maintenance.
- 10-15 years of marriage. Spousal maintenance is likely to be a part of your divorce case.
- 20+ years of marriage. A judge is likely to award considerable spousal maintenance.
- Duration: Judges will typically not rule spousal maintenance to last more than half of the marriage. (Example – A 30 year marriage may have 15 years or less of spousal maintenance awarded.)
- Amount: This will greatly depend on the judge assigned to your divorce case, however, on a 20 year marriage you could expect about 20% of the income from one spouse to the other.
These guidelines are more like “shots in the dark” as every case is unique, every family is unique and more importantly every judge will make the final decision.