If you are considering ending your marriage in Maryland, you may either have to pay or receive alimony. Couples who have never been divorced before may not realize that the state classifies alimony in several different ways. Which one you encounter will depend on your situation.
Maryland recognizes three types of alimony
Maryland law classifies alimony into three different types: alimony pendente lite, rehabilitative alimony and indefinite alimony. The court may award pendent lite between the time you file for divorce and it is finalized. The purpose of this type is to maintain the status quo during the proceedings and is not necessarily indicative of receiving it after the decree.
Rehabilitative alimony is the most common type and is generally time-limited and associated with a goal, like returning to school or becoming financially independent. Its average length is about 3-10 years. Indefinite alimony is rare and has no specific endpoint. Spouses who receive this type usually receive this award due to their age, health or disability. You cannot apply for indefinite alimony if you make reasonable progress toward your own support or if there is little difference between your income and that of your ex-spouse.
Avoiding alimony mistakes
Not thinking things through is a common mistake made by many couples during divorce negotiations. Whether you are the paying or receiving spouse, you should remember that the payments provided under alimony pendente lite won’t necessarily continue in the same manner after the divorce is final.
Maryland courts consider many different factors when determining fair alimony payments. Working with additional professionals like financial advisors can help determine your future needs and realistic alimony levels. As life situations change, you may be able to petition for a change in alimony levels.