Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences you have in life, and knowing who will support who, and whether that support is court-ordered, depends upon a wide variety of factors. In this article, we’ll explore who qualifies for alimony and what factors are taken into account in determining the scope and parameters of any alimony that might be awarded.
A Maryland family law attorney experienced in representing divorce clients can further expand upon what you should take into account to achieve the best possible outcome through your divorce.
What are the main factors for alimony in Maryland?
Some factors that courts consider when awarding alimony under Maryland law include:
- The length of your marriage
- The financial situation of your marriage
- The physical health, mental health, and age of the spouses
- The reasons behind the divorce
Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term solution for a divorced spouse
In Maryland, there are two primary types of alimony, either rehabilitative or indefinite, also known as permanent. Rehabilitative therapy is temporary and is meant to assist one spouse in emerging from the divorce with support while they re-establish themselves. This type of alimony might be to support the former homemaker to acquire education and training to increase their earnings capacity after having invested their time into raising children. Rehabilitative alimony might include education or the development of skills to make the spouse more competitive on the job market and, thereby, better able to support themselves.
According to Maryland Today, the divorce rate for college-educated persons is decreasing, so this form of alimony may be on the decline, underlining the importance of considering the next type of alimony: permanent/indefinite.
Permanent or indefinite alimony is awarded in limited circumstances
In Maryland, there are instances where the award of alimony is without an end date. This is called permanent or indefinite alimony and persists until otherwise ordered by the court or agreed by the spouses. Permanent or indefinite alimony is awarded when you cannot make reasonable progress in terms of self-support. This is often due to age, illness, or disability. An additional way that you might be eligible for permanent or indefinite alimony is that your ex-spouse’s standard of living is unconscionably disparate.
Agreements between spouses can also impact whether alimony is permanent. Spouses may establish agreements such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that change the capacity of one spouse or another to collect alimony or the terms of alimony. Such agreements can be drafted by a knowledgeable Maryland family law attorney, and generally, the court is bound by any such agreements that have been made between the former spouses.
A Maryland family law attorney can help you process and understand alimony
While divorces are low at the moment, according to the Baltimore Sun, they are expected to increase as the pandemic passes. If you’re going through a divorce and alimony is a factor that you’ll need to consider, an experienced family law attorney with a divorce practice in Maryland can help advocate for your rights and ensure the optimal outcome through your divorce proceedings.