Couples who are getting divorce might run into the issue of spousal maintenance and there is a chance that it may be a contested issue. The court will have to assess a number of factors to decide whether spousal maintenance is an appropriate award in this particular situation. Spousal maintenance isn’t always necessary because in a lot of situations, both spouses have the ability to financially support themselves. However, if the couple relied on the income of one spouse, the other spouse may not be able to support themselves.

In a situation where spousal support is contested, the factors taken into consideration will likely include the income and earning capacity of each party, the length of the marriage, the age of the spouse and how close they might be to retirement, parental obligations or responsibility, and the level of education that each spouse has, among others.

The following is an example of a situation where spousal support may be appropriate. The divorcing couple was married for 45 years and are only a few years away from retirement age, but now they are getting a divorce. Spouse A worked and provided the family with the bulk of income. Spouse B stayed home to raise children and then only worked odd jobs here and there once the children were old enough. Now, since the spouses are nearing retirement age, Spouse B is not going to be able to support themselves after the divorce because going back to school at their age or starting a career is unrealistic. In this situation, the court may grant a spousal maintenance award to Spouse B.

Of course, each situation is different. If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney today.

If you require experienced legal representation for any of your divorce and family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Paige, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.