Spousal Maintenance


At Fahnert LLC all of our attorneys have extensive experience arguing for and against maintenance. Maintenance is more commonly known as alimony. Maintenance may be ordered during a divorce proceeding (this is often called “temporary maintenance”) and after a divorce proceeding. The court shall take the following factors into consideration when determining whether maintenance should be awarded to a party:

  1. the income and property that each party shall have after the dissolution of marriage (including marital and non-marital property),
  2. the needs of each party,
  3. the present and future earning potential of each party,
  4. any impairments to present or future earning capacity of the party who is seeking maintenance,
  5. any impairments to present or future earning capacity of the party from whom maintenance is sought,
  6. the time necessary for the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training and employment or any parental responsibility arrangement and it’s effects the party seeking employment;
  7. the standard of living established during the marriage,
  8. the duration of the marriage,
  9. the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and the needs of each of the parties,
  10. all sources of income for each party, including disability and retirement income,
  11. the tax consequences of the property division,
  12. contributions from one spouse to the other’s education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse,
  13. any valid agreement of the parties (such as a prenup), and
  14. any other factor that the court find to be fair and just.

If the court determines that a party qualifies for maintenance, (and the parties combined income is less than $250,000, and the payor has no obligation to pay child-support or maintenance from a prior relationship), the court shall calculate maintenance using the following guideline:

  1. Amount: Maintenance shall be calculated by taking 30% of the payor’s gross income minus 20% of the payee’s gross income. The amount calculated as maintenance, when added to the gross income of the payee, may not result in the payee receiving an amount that is in excess of 40% of the combined gross income of the parties. Gross income means revenue from all sources.
  2. Length: The duration of an award of maintenance shall be calculated by multiplying the length of the marriage at the time the action was commenced by whichever of the following factors applies: 5 years or less (.20); more than 5 years but less than 10 years (.40); 10 years or more but less than 15 years (.60); or 15 years or more but less than 20 years (.80). If you have been married for more than 20 years, the court has the option of choosing either permanent maintenance  or maintenance for a period of time equal to the length of the marriage.

If the parties combined income is greater than $250,000 or the payor has obligations to pay child-support or maintenance from a prior relationship, then the court may award maintenance that is not in accordance with the guidelines. In such a situation the court shall consider the factors 1-14 in determining the amount and length of the maintenance.