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Changes in awarding Maintenance

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As of January 1, 2016, Maintenance awards during a dissolution of marriage proceeding have changed.  The Court must first determine if an award of maintenance is appropriate.  The modified factors the Court MUST consider are:

~ Income, property AND financial obligations imposed by the Judgment

~ Realistic present and future earning of the obligee AND obligor

~ Parental responsibility and its effect on the party seeking maintenance

~ The age, health, station, occupation, sources of income, vocational skills, employability, liabilities and needs of each party

~ All sources of public and private income, including disability, SSI and retirement.

The maintenance guidelines the Court uses are as follows:

~ Maintennace is only applicable to families whose gross income is $250,000.00 or less, with no obligation to pay support or maintenance from a prior marriage or relationship

~ The length of the mariage is determined by the date the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, and the calculation is 20% of the months of marriage for marriages of 0-5 years; 40% of the months of marriage for marriages of 5-10 years; 60% of the months of marriage for marriages of 10-15 years; 80% of the months of marriage for marriages of 15-20 years.

The formula for calculating maintenance is taking 30% of the obligor's income less 20% of the obligee's income.  

Termination of Maintenance is determined by operation of law on the date of a remarriage or court determination of the commencement of cohabitation.  The person receiving maintenance must advise their ex at least 30 days before they remarry unless the decision to marry is made in that time, in which case the obligor must be notified within 72 hours of marrying.

In a contested case of termination of maintenance, the Court must make the specific factual findings as to the reasons for terminating maintenance or modification.

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