Alimony is financial support paid from one spouse to the other during divorce or after divorce. Whether it is temporary to help get the lower earning spouse back on their feet, or permanent support to help them live the lifestyle they grew accustomed to while married, alimony is a crucial form of support for millions of people across the country. Our attorneys assist clients on both sides, whether you are the paying or receiving spouse.
What Does Alimony Pay for and What Types are there?
Spousal support or alimony payments can be used for anything that the receiving spouse desires, including rent or mortgage payments, other bills, groceries, clothing, and anything else. However, certain types of alimony, as explained below, are generally used for a specific purpose, such as going back to school.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded when the spouse desires to go back to school or complete another form of job training. Rehabilitative alimony, however, is not permanent; there is a set time limit to this form of support. The payments may go towards tuition, rent, car payments, and every other normal expense that the individual has during this set time period. According to the American Bar Association, rehabilitative alimony has become increasingly prevalent in recent years.
Alimony pendente lite is a form of alimony that is awarded during the divorce process, and is discontinued when the divorce is finalized. It is used maintain the type of lifestyle that the lower earning spouse became used to during marriage pending the litigation.
Indefinite alimony, while rare, can be awarded for life in some cases until the lower earning spouse remarries, the lower earning spouse wishes to discontinue the payments, or one of the spouses die. This type of alimony is usually only awarded to a spouse who does not have a high chance of being able to provide for themselves in the future due to age or disability. Additionally, it may be awarded to a spouse, even if they are able to provide for themselves financially, when the living standards between the two spouses are unconscionably disparate, meaning that the higher-earning spouse is very well off and lives a much more lavish lifestyle than the lower earning spouse.
Factors that Determine Alimony
As described by the People’s Law Library of Maryland, the following factors are used by the court to determine if alimony is appropriate or necessary:
- Ability of lower-earning spouse to provide for themselves;
- Age of each party;
- Time needed to gain education;
- Standard of living both parties are used to during marriage;
- Length of marriage;
- Monetary and nonmonetary contributions to the marriage of each party;
- Reason for divorce;
- Ability of paying spouse to meet both party’s needs;
- Physical and mental health of each party;
- Finances and property of each party; and
- Agreements between the two parties.
Call Maryland Family Law Attorney Tara K. Frame Today
If you are seeking alimony or if you are the paying spouse and have concerns, we strongly urge you to get in touch with an attorney. Feel free to call the Pasadena, Maryland law offices of Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373 for help with your case.