If an attorney is representing someone who is seeking maintenance, they would want to focus on certain factors. The attorney will focus on the fact that their client spent years and years helping the payor spouse become a very successful business person or a very well-known surgeon. They will try to focus in on the standard of living that the parties have established throughout the 20-plus-year marriage – they drove luxury automobiles and they belonged to country clubs. They will focus on that standard of living because the payee spouse is entitled to a like standard of living.
On the contrary, if the attorney represents the moneyed spouse, they will focus on the fact that the spouse seeking maintenance is young, is able to work, and should get back into the workforce, become self sufficient, and is no longer needed to raise the young children – as the children have graduated from high school and are off to college. The spouse seeking maintenance is well able to support themselves, whether it’s through income or through assets that are awarded. The judges are supposed to first consider the factors of maintenance and then they move on to the guidelines.