Once eligibility is established, the divorce court is charged with looking at a variety of factors to determine whether an actual award of spousal maintenance (including how much and how long) is appropriate.
These factors include educational background, duration of the marriage, age of the requesting spouse, employment history, infidelity, contributions to the family as a homemaker, efforts to find employment, etc.
After careful consideration of the relevant factors, the court has the power to rule that the requesting spouse receives no support, the maximum support allowed, or something in between.
1. Up to 5 years of post-divorce support. This the applicable cap if the marriage lasted less than 10 years and the requesting spouse can show eligibility under scenario #1 above or the marriage lasted at least 10 years but less than 20 years.
2. Up to 7 years of post-divorce support. This is the maximum duration allowed if the marriage lasted at least 20 years but less than 30 years.
3. Up to 10 years of post-divorce support. This is the maximum duration allowed if the marriage lasted 30 years or more.
4. For scenarios #2(a) and #2(b) above, the support award can last indefinitely so long as the underlying eligibility criteria continue to exist.