Maintenance is a monthly or lump sum payment from one spouse to the other. There are several factors that the court looks at in determining whether maintenance is appropriate, such as the duration of the marriage, age of the parties, financial resources, employment potential of the parties, loss of earnings or retirement benefits given up by one spouse, and the needs of each individual. Spousal maintenance is not required and is not appropriate in all cases. The court will evaluate each case individually to determine if maintenance is needed to help one spouse on a temporary or permanent basis. The court will analyze whether the party requesting maintenance will be able to become self-supporting in the future, and if not, whether permanent maintenance is required. Spousal maintenance is taxable income to the party who receives it, and the paying spouse receives a tax deduction for paid spousal maintenance.