As a divorce attorney and mediator it is my responsibility to inform clients
of what they are entitled to when considering a divorce. Women, in particular,
don’t realize they may be entitled to Rehabilitative Maintenance.
For those of you who are wondering what Rehabilitative Maintenance is,
it is a type of spousal support. This type of support gives a wife (financially
dependent spouse) who may have left a job or career for a marriage and
to raise a family, the right to receive further education or training
so she can become self-sufficient and self-supporting.
In some cases, although rare, rehabilitative maintenance can be extended
for several years, and in a very few cases maintenance has been continued
for life. In many of these cases the ex-spouse had no realistic chance
of employment, and the marriage was a very long marriage.
It would be unrealistic, for example to expect a woman, now 63 , who had
been married for forty-some years, to be able to find employment that
would guarantee her a standard of living that had been set by her ex-husband
over their forty year marriage.
So what was the standard of living established in your marriage? “Standard
of living” means developing a picture of how you lived. What was
your income (if you had one), what was his income and what and how did
you spend your money.
Whether or not you are entitled to rehabilitative maintenance depends on
a number of factors:
1) Age of parties;
2) Health of parties;
3) Length of marriage;
4) Earnings of each party;
5) Disparity of income;
6) Value of property allocation;
7) Professional opportunities missed by wife to stay home and raise a family;
8) Lifestyles of the parties during the marriage;
9) What education and skills you already have;
10) How much education will you need to re-enter the work force (might
be used to pay for law school or computer training).
For the most part, rehabilitative maintenance is temporary, but if you
are going through a divorce, you should know about it! It could make a
big difference in your financial security.