In divorce cases, the primary purpose of awarding one party to pay another party maintenance is to provide the receiving party temporary financial support to give them time to become self-sufficient. During the support period, the receiving party is expected to finish school or complete other training so that they would have the skills necessary to get a job and support themselves. In Lorenz v. Lorenz, Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, was asked to the amount of time and amount of money is necessary to help enable the receiving party to become self-sufficient.
Defendant William Lorenz and Plaintiff Pamela Lorenz were married for 33 years. Pamela filed a petition for divorce. Both parties were 54 years of age. At the time of the divorce, Williams’s income was over $100,000, and Pamela’s income was $20,000. William was in good health, but Pamela had back problems that affected her work as a hairdresser. The Supreme Court of New York, taking into account the couple’s standard of living prior to divorce, awarded Pamela $500 per week in maintenance from William until such time as Pamela can draw full Social Security benefits, apparently when she becomes 66. William appealed.