If you are going through a divorce, the subject of alimony might come up in your case. Also called spousal support or maintenance, alimony is often one of the most contentious issues in Maryland divorce cases.
When a couple legally separates or divorces, the court can order one of the spouses or domestic partners to pay the other partner or spouse a certain amount of support. The support is provided each month to the recipient. Knowing a reasonable alimony payment depends on the facts and circumstances of each couple, and every situation is unique.
Alimony orders can impact your life for years to come, so you want to make sure yours is a reasonable support order.
Alimony is Determined by Computing Specific Factors, and a Lawyer Can Help
The process of determining whether alimony is appropriate in a particular situation depends largely on the unique facts and circumstances of the relationship. Generally, alimony is available when one spouse was financially dependent upon the other spouse and would require support to maintain their lifestyle without the ongoing support of their prior spouse or domestic partner.
Knowing what types of alimony are available to you can be confusing, and a divorce attorney with experience in your area knows the process and how to best support your case. Alimony can be either short-term or long-term, depending on the purpose of the alimony.
For example, if one partner was the career-oriented breadwinner, and the other spouse sacrificed their career advancement and/or education to take care of children, an alimony award may include support until the other spouse or partner has been able to advance their education and employment prospects so as to be able to maintain their lifestyle following the divorce or separation.
Alimony is Calculated Differently in Different Courts, Even Within the Same State
Some spouses agree on alimony, or they might have a prenuptial agreement that sets out an alimony arrangement. However, if a couple cannot agree, the decision will get turned over to the court.
Alimony can be calculated by judges in local courts, who often use a formula to calculate the exact amount. Courts in different counties, however, might have different methods of calculating temporary support orders. An experienced divorce attorney in your area knows the process and the norms of calculation and can help ensure you receive an accurate and reasonable alimony amount.
Some factors that are considered include:
- Income and financial resources of each spouse
- Marital property distributions
- The employability of each spouse
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
- The financial need of one spouse
If you are receiving alimony, you want it to be enough to provide the support you need. If you are paying, you want it to be reasonable given your financial resources, so you don’t experience financial hardship.
Connect with a Divorce Attorney Today to Protect Your Alimony Rights
Whether you are pursuing alimony from a former spouse or dealing with a potential support order to pay alimony, a local divorce attorney can ensure the best outcome in your case.