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Your Maryland Alimony Questions Answered


As you think about the possibility of a divorce, perhaps you’re troubled with thoughts of the financial challenges ahead.  After all, your household income has been supporting one household.  What’s going to happen when there are two separate households depending on that limited income?  If you’re the lesser earner, you may think you’re in for a real struggle.  If you’re the higher earner, maybe you’re worried about how much money will be shaved off the top to support your ex.  Whatever your circumstances, it’s worth being familiar with the laws regarding alimony here in Maryland.

What’s the Point of Alimony? 

The general purpose of alimony is to give the lesser earning spouse a leg up on the way to becoming self-reliant and is provided for a prescribed length of time.  In limited circumstances, it supports a former partner indefinitely.

Do Men Always Get Stuck Paying Alimony to Women? 

No!  First of all, not every divorce involves a man and a woman. Secondly, in many splits, neither partner needs or wants support from an ex.  Finally, support is based on earnings and need, not gender.  It is entirely possible for a woman to make support payments to her former husband.

What Issues are Considered when making Alimony Determinations? 

The court will weigh a number of issues when making determinations related to alimony.  Central to the assessment will be the financial circumstances of each partner.  Beyond that, additional consideration will be paid to:

  • Contributions–including non-monetary—to the marriage;
  • The age and health of each person;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The ability of each person to make a living going forward;
  • The length of time it might take to gain job skills/education if necessary;
  • The ability of one partner to make payments to the other;
  • The reasons the divorce was initiated.

So How does Alimony Work?

The court will determine which of three types of alimony is appropriate based on circumstances, and will look at statutory regulations in addition to the specifics of the case to determine the appropriate amount to be paid out.

  • Alimony pendente lite: This is a temporary award to assist the lesser earner while the divorce is in progress;
  • Rehabilitative alimony: An award is designed to assist one in completing a degree program or training in a trade, and generally lasts anywhere from three to ten years.
  • Indefinite alimony: When age, disability, or an illness limits one’s ability to support oneself, or when spousal earnings are significantly disparate and a divorce will greatly alter one’s standard of living, this is a way to even the playing field, and payments may go on with no known end date.

More Questions? 

Divorce is a time with lots of uncertainty.  To have all of your questions addressed in a professional, knowledgeable manner, contact the experienced Baltimore alimony attorneys at The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes.  Schedule a confidential consultation today.



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