In re the Marriage of Porter, (Div. I, Unpublished, 2007)
Facts: Dr. Porter, a radiologist, and Ms. Porter, who did not work, were married for 22 years. Dr. Porter made a significant amount of money; he usually earned $54,000 per month. At trial, the court awarded Ms. Porter $8,000 per month maintenance after weighing Dr. Porter’s substantial business assets, including goodwill, against the fact that he was suffering from lymphoma and prostate cancer that limited his ability to work in the future. Ms. Porter appealed asking for more monthly spousal maintenance, arguing that this would not permit her to continue her same standard of living and that the dollar amount awarded was only 15% of Dr. Porter’s monthly income.
Held: Determination of spousal maintenance is solely within the discretion of the broad discretion of the trial court. Absent a showing of abuse of that discretion, the amount of maintenance awarded will not be disturbed on appeal. Here, the court set the amount of maintenance based on Dr. Porter’s health concerns. Ms. Porter is not entitled to continue her previous standard of living as a matter of right; Dr. Porter’s income is also being reduced substantially due to his inability to work.