In a divorce, one spouse may request maintenance, also known as alimony, from the other spouse. In determining whether a spouse should be awarded maintenance, the court considers several factors, including: the income and property of both parties; the duration of the marriage; the age and health of both parties; the ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to become self-supporting; which spouse has custody of the children; and whether one spouse contributed to the other spouse’s career or education. Due to these considerations, it is difficult to be awarded maintenance when the length of the marriage was short, the parties are relatively young and healthy, or if the other spouse earns a low income and has little property. Maintenance is usually ordered for a set period of time to give the person a chance to become self-sufficient.