In a divorce, one party may be ordered to pay spousal maintenance (formerly called alimony) to the other for a period of time agreed to by the parties or determined by a judge. The amount and length of time maintenance is to be paid is determined after consideration of several factors, including each spouse’s:
- level of education
- income history and potential
- lifestyle during the marriage
- reasonable living expenses
- pre-nuptial agreements
- ability to contribute toward the support of the other
The spousal maintenance issue requires that three questions be considered:
- Should there be spousal maintenance at all?
- If so, how much?
- If so, for how long?
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