As with many other legal concepts, the truth about alimony in Maryland can be quite different from the misconceptions and rumors. Alimony is a major factor in most divorce cases, and the court’s ruling can be more narrow than an agreement between two parties. How much do you really know about alimony in Maryland?
When Can Alimony Be Awarded?
Alimony in Maryland can only be awarded before the official ending of the marriage. That means that if you fail to make a claim for alimony before the divorce is finalized, you cannot come back in the future to start a claim. If you choose to sign an agreement about alimony with your former spouse, the court will most likely be bound by that agreement and not be able to alter it during the divorce process. For example, the court might rule that a periodic monetary payment is appropriate. However, if you have a signed agreement between both parties dictating that one spouse will cover the mortgage payment every month, that will be considered as the standard.
The Types of Alimony
There are three types of alimony in Maryland:
Alimony pendente lite: This type of alimony can be awarded at any point between filing for divorce and the divorce being finalized, and it primarily is to maintain the status quo while the divorce is taking place. This decision does not necessarily mean any alimony will be awarded after the divorce.
Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony in Maryland is the most commonly awarded, and it is often associated with a time-sensitive goal. For example, the court could award rehabilitative alimony to cover a 2-year degree program that would allow the spouse to better support themselves. In general, there can be 3-10 years of rehabilitative alimony awarded.
Indefinite alimony: This type of alimony is rare and has no specific end. Depending on your specific situation, age, your spouse’s standard of living and other factors, the court could decide that there is an unfair difference between living standards. Indefinite alimony can be changed, ended or modified after being awarded.
Who Could Be Responsible for Alimony in Maryland?
Maryland has an equal rights amendment that states a husband or wife could be required to pay alimony.
What Factors Are Considered When Deciding the Alimony Amount?
The ability of the party to be wholly or partially self-supporting
The time needed for the party seeking alimony to find suitable employment or get the training needed to find it
The duration of the marriage
The standard of living during the marriage
The overall contributions to each member of the party to the family
Physical and mental condition
An outside agreement between the parties
The circumstances that led to separation
The financial resources of each party
The financial needs of each party
With so many factors being taken into consideration, every party needs a skilled lawyer on their side.
Helping with Your Alimony Cases
If you are going through a divorce or looking to modify an existing indefinite alimony decision, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today at (410) 828-0680.