First, the Court must determine whether or not to award a party spousal maintenance. The next question is the appropriate amount and duration of the maintenance.
Unlike child support, there is no precise formula that determines what one spouse must pay the other for spousal maintenance. The amount and duration of a maintenance award depends on a number of factors that must be weighed.
Temporary or rehabilitative spousal maintenance is payable for a temporary period of time to one spouse following a divorce to help that spouse get in a position of self-support or to “rehabilitate” that spouse.
In other words, rehabilitative spousal maintenance helps one party get back on his or her feet following a divorce. This is often to allow for the spouse receiving the temporary spousal maintenance to receive education or retraining that will allow them to become self-supporting.
There are eight factors the court analyzes when determining if a temporary award is appropriate:
- The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance and that spouse’s ability to meet their needs independently;
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to allow the spouse seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the probability, given the spouse’s age and skills, of completing education or training and becoming partially or fully self-sufficient;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage and, in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from employment and the extent to which any skills or experience have become outdated and the spouse’s earning capacity has become permanently diminished;
- The loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employments that were given up by the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
- The age and physical and emotional health of the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet their own needs while also meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
- The contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property and the contribution of a spouse as homemaker or in furtherance of the other spouse’s employment or business.
A Court may award temporary – or “rehabilitative” – spousal maintenance, where the recipient spouse has some education (e.g. college degree) or training (e.g. paralegal training), the person is in good physical and mental condition, and is younger in age (e.g. 35 years old versus 60 years old), but may need a few years of financial support from the other spouse following the divorce in order to obtain more training, etc. and become self-sufficient.
In these types of cases, courts have awarded temporary spousal maintenance for a defined or finite period of time – so that the recipient of spousal maintenance can obtain training, get back on his/her feet and ultimately stop receiving spousal maintenance.
Making the case for or against temporary spousal maintenance requires an experienced attorney who will work with you toward achieving your goals. At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.