When May Maintenance And Support Be Awarded By A Court?

Depending on state law, a court may award maintenance to either spouse.   Maintenance refers to money payable or property transferable by one spouse to the other after a divorce or declaration of nullity of marriage.

The court may direct one spouse to pay to the other spousal support or interim spousal support for such period of time and on such terms as the court thinks reasonable, taking into account:

  • the financial needs of each spouse;
  • the financial means, earnings and earning capacity of each spouse;
  • the standard of living of the spouses;
  • any obligation of a spouse for the support and maintenance of a child or a person other than the other spouse;
  • any housekeeping, child care or domestic service performed by a spouse for the family;
  • the amount of any property settlement made between the spouses;
  • where one spouse is financially dependent on the other spouse, the measures available for the dependent spouse to become financially independent of the other spouse and the length of time and cost involved in taking those measures;
  • any impairment of the income earning capacity and financial status of either spouse resulting from the marriage;
  • length of time that the marriage has subsisted;

Child support and interim child support may also be ordered to be paid by one spouse to the other.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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