Multiple issues. See full summary.
Limited term maintenance has various purposes. In this case, it was designed to limit the responsibility of the payor.
Short-term marriage does not become long-term because of presence of children. Term of marriage is measure only by its duration. (N.B.: Review granted by Supreme Court)
Trial court must act carefully when determining a maintenance termination date. Trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by failing to substantiate wife’s earning capacity or her ability to obtain full time employment before termination date of maintenance.”
Four years maintenance in marriage of 28 years is reversed – statement by trial court that wife will not need maintenance after four years is inadequate under current law.
Five years limited term maintenance affirmed; court allowed to use testimony of vocational expert; limited term maintenance can be used to provide spouse with incentive to become self-supporting, to limit responsibility of payor-spouse and avoiding future litigation.
No abuse of discretion in providing for limited term alimony. Limited period alimony is a two-edge sword. Both parties know the amount and the duration of the payments. The certainty allows the parties to make plans.
Obligation for maintenance terminates either upon the death of the wife or upon the death of the husband.