Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-ordered provision of financial support for a spouse after a divorce. When most people think of spousal support, they often think of women receiving financial support from their ex-husbands, but this is not always the case. Men can receive spousal support as well. Didn’t know this? Keep reading to learn more about alimony and who qualifies for it.
Alimony and its Purpose
Alimony is periodic payments from one spouse to the other. The purpose of alimony is to provide an opportunity for the recipient spouse to become financially self-sufficient. Generally, alimony can only be awarded before the finalization of a divorce. That means once the divorce has been finalized, spouses cannot go back and request alimony if they had not done so already.
Who Can Receive Alimony?
While theoretically, anyone can receive alimony, it’s ultimately awarded on the premise that one spouse makes significantly more money than the other and that spouse needs financial help. Once the court establishes a need and ability to pay, the judge will take into account several factors to determine what kind of alimony should be awarded and how much. Some of those factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- The spouse’s financial situation during the marriage, now, and in the near future
- Your age, physical and mental health
- Reasons for divorce
- The physical and mental condition of each party
- The circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties
- All income and assets, including property that does not produce income
These are just a few factors that Maryland courts will consider when determining alimony.
Types of Alimony
There are three types of alimony awarded in Maryland. The first type, called alimony pendente lite, is awarded between the time a spouse files for divorce and the time the divorce is final. A spouse must request this kind of alimony when filing for divorce; it is not granted automatically. The purpose of alimony pendente lite is to maintain the status quo or current lifestyle during the divorce. It does not necessarily mean that the spouse will be awarded alimony after the divorce is finalized.
The second kind of alimony awarded in Maryland is rehabilitative alimony. This is the most common type of alimony awarded. That’s because it’s usually associated with a time-limited goal, such as going back to school. Results will vary based on your individual circumstances, but you can estimate to have rehabilitative alimony for around three to ten years.
The last kind of alimony awarded in Maryland is indefinite alimony. This is the rarest kind of alimony awarded. It has no specific endpoint. Spouses are usually awarded indefinite alimony if, because of their age, an illness, or disability, they cannot (1) make reasonable progress toward supporting themselves, or (2) even if they can make reasonable progress, there is a significant difference between their and their ex’s standard of living.
Want to Know More About Your Chances for Alimony?
When you have questions about family law matters such as alimony, child custody, and divorce, look no further than Alan L. Billian, P.A. We have years of experience helping individuals navigate divorce and getting them the results they deserve. Get started now with a free 30-minute consultation.