The court may grant maintenance if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance does not have sufficient property to provide for his/her reasonable needs and is unable to support himself/herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
There is no pre-determined formula to determine the amount or length of maintenance. The court will consider relevant factors including the length of the marriage, the financial resources of the parties, the conduct of the parties during the marriage and the ability of the other spouse to meet their own needs. Maintenance is not awarded to punish a guilty spouse but rather is to lessen the financial impact of divorce on the other spouse.
Generally, an award of maintenance is either for a specified term or modifiable.
If the parties decide to settle without a trial, they can settle on a term of maintenance – a specific dollar amount with a specific date that it stops. If the parties have a trial, the judge may only award modifiable maintenance – which means that the spouse that is ordered to pay maintenance would have to come back to court in the future to terminate or reduce his/her monthly maintenance obligation. Maintenance will terminate if either spouse dies or if the party receiving maintenance remarries.