What if the judge orders rehabilitative maintenance at a very high level, but only for a few years?

The potential is there, but the actuality is slim. Should the award of maintenance be so high as to be unusual, the appeals court would closely scrutinize the facts of the case. You or your lawyer could appeal the decision immediately. Inflating maintenance payments for a shorter period is not a common practice, because it can be an unrealistic financial burden on the payor and the payee could establish and become accustomed to a living standard above and beyond what he or she would ordinarily be able to afford.