A RATIONAL APPROACH TO SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE, PART THREE: HOW LONG IS IT PAID?
Once it is determined that spousal maintenance will be paid, the duration of the payments, along with the amount paid, must be agreed upon. The duration of the payments is subjective and driven by the facts of the particular case. Once again, the Arizona spousal maintenance statute provides little clear guidance in ascertaining how long the payments should continue. The primary statutory criteria are the following: a) length of the marriage; b) age, earning ability and employment history of the receiving spouse; c) whether the receiving spouse contributed to the earning ability of the paying spouse and/or reduced their own earning ability in doing so; d) the time necessary for the receiving spouse to attain the education or training to be reasonably employed.
As can be seen, the attorneys and the parties must pretty much strike out on their own in resolving the specific duration of payments issue. Again, this is a negotiation which works best if all involved are working together in a way that both spouses can live with and endorse.