Alimony, also known as spousal support, is awarded at the discretion of the court.  Unlike child support, there are no statutory guidelines by which the court is mandated to follow. 

Given the court’s discretion in awarding alimony, determining the duration of alimony and the amount of any such alimony award, it is critical that you contact an attorney at Jacobson Family Law who can analyze the specific facts of your case and how they may impact the outcome of your case; whether you are requesting alimony or defending against such a claim.  

There are three types of alimony in Maryland: Pendente Lite Alimony, Rehabilitative and Indefinite (or Permanent) Alimony.  

  1. Pendente Lite Alimony - This form of alimony is an award of support made during the pendency of a divorce case. The goal of Pendente Lite alimony is to maintain the status quo that existed between the parties prior to the filing of the divorce action. In making a Pendente Litealimony award the court will consider only the financial need of the spouse requesting support, the ability of the other spouse to pay support and the status quo.  It is possible for the Court to award Pendente Lite Alimony retroactive to the filing of the original request.  
  2. Rehabilitative Alimony - This form of alimony provides a spouse with financial resources for a specified duration of time in order for them to become self-supporting.  When making an award of alimony, the court must consider the following factors:
    • The ability to be self-supporting or at least partly self-supporting. 
    • The time necessary to gain suitable employment and gain sufficient education and training
    • The standard of living for the parties during marriage
    • The length of the marriage
    • Each of the parties’ contributions to the overall well-being of the family (monetarily and otherwise)
    • The circumstances surrounding the parties’ estrangement
    • Each party’s age and their physical and mental conditions
    • The ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony
    • Any agreements between the parties
    • The financial needs and resources of each party
    • Whether the award would affect State Assistance
       
  3. Indefinite (or Permanent) Alimony - This form of alimony can be awarded if the court finds that: 
    • Due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability, the party seeking spousal support cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress toward becoming self-supporting, or
    • Even after the party seeking alimony will have made as much progress toward becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the two parties will be unconscionably disparate.

Schedule an appointment today with an attorney at Jacobson Family Law to discuss your alimony matter today.  

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