Are you wondering if you can get alimony? The purpose of alimony is to help the recipient spouse maintain a standard of living that is reasonable and also to be self-supporting. However, alimony is not automatically granted in Maryland. You have to request it from the court and prove that you need it and that your former spouse can afford it.
Alimony pendente lite
The first is alimony pendente lite. This is a temporary form of alimony that is awarded while the divorce is pending. The goal of this type of alimony is to preserve the status quo and prevent any unfair hardship for either spouse during the divorce process. Alimony pendente lite ends when the divorce is final or when the court orders otherwise.
This is the most common form of alimony in Maryland. It is awarded for a limited period of time, usually until the recipient spouse becomes self-supporting through education, training or employment. The court may set a specific duration for rehabilitative alimony or leave it open-ended with periodic reviews.
This is a rare form of alimony that has no fixed end date. It is only awarded when the recipient spouse cannot reasonably be expected to become self-supporting due to age, illness, disability or other factors. It may also be awarded when there is a substantial disparity in the incomes of the spouses that would result in an unconscionable standard of living for the recipient spouse.
Factors considered by the family court
The court has a lot of discretion when deciding whether to award alimony, how much to award and for how long. The court will consider various factors, such as the claimant’s ability to be wholly or partly self-supporting. The judge also includes the time necessary for the spouse seeking alimony to gain adequate education or training to enable that spouse to find an appropriate job.
This is in addition to the standard of living that the spouses during the marriage, length of the marriage and the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each spouse to the well-being of the family.
The judge also looks at the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the spouses, and the age and physical and mental condition of each spouse. Additionally, the judge will consider the financial state of the spouse from whom alimony is sought to make sure that the person’s own meeds as well as the other spouse’s need are both met.
Finally, the judge looks to any agreement between the spouses and the financial needs and financial resources of each spouse.