A major element in a divorce is the financial ramifications for all parties involved. In some cases, alimony, also known as spousal support, may be awarded to the economically disadvantaged partner. Unlike child support, for which the state of Maryland has enacted official guidelines which must be followed by the court, an award of alimony is always determined on a case-by-case basis and is in the discretion of the trial judge, based on his or her consideration of the 12 factors set forth in the statute.
The top-rated Maryland alimony & spousal support attorneys at Frame & Frame have the skills and experience needed to protect your rights and interests. No matter the specific nature of your case, we are here to help you through the legal process. To get immediate assistance with your alimony case, please call us today to get the conversation started.
Understanding Spousal Support in Maryland
As a starting point, post-divorce alimony in Maryland comes in two different forms: rehabilitative and indefinite. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help the financially disadvantaged spouse stabilize himself or herself and transition after a separation. It is awarded on a temporary, short-term basis. In contrast, indefinite alimony is awarded for longer periods of time — potentially, it may even be granted permanently. It is generally awarded in cases in which one spouse will be substantially financially disadvantaged following the divorce. Notably, there is also a form of transitional spousal support known as alimony pendente lite. This is a form of spousal support that covers the period between when a divorce is filed and when a divorce is finalized. There are many factors that will influence how much, if any, spousal support will be awarded to the disadvantaged partner. Among other things, these factors include:
- The ability of the spouse seeking alimony to be self-supporting;
- The time necessary for the spouse seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to become self-supporting;
- The standard of living that the parties established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- Both the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each spouse to the well-being of the family;
- The circumstances contributing to the breakdown of the marriage;
- The age of each spouse;
- The physical and mental condition of each spouse;
- The ability of the spouse from whom alimony is sought to pay alimony while still supporting herself or himself;
- Any agreement between the parties; and
- The financial needs and financial resources of each spouse.
The longer a marriage lasted and the larger the gap in future earning prospects between the two spouses, the more likely that alimony will be awarded. In Maryland, alimony laws are applied in a gender-neutral manner. This means that spousal support can be awarded, and paid by, either the husband or the wife.
How Our Maryland Alimony Lawyers Can Help
If spousal support is an issue in your divorce case, it is highly recommended that you seek guidance from an experienced Maryland alimony attorney like those at Frame & Frame. By their very nature, all alimony disputes must be handled on a case-by-case basis. We represent clients in alimony negotiations, and if necessary, in divorce litigation. Disputes over spousal support have the potential to drag on over time. Our Maryland family lawyers help our clients find the solutions that are in their best financial interests in as timely a manner as possible.