Maryland Alimony Attorneys Protect Your Future
Counsel for those paying or receiving spousal support
Alimony, which is known as spousal support in some states, is intended to give the lesser-earning spouse a chance to become self-supporting. Either spouse may be required to pay alimony. If the court awards alimony, it typically is “rehabilitative alimony” for a limited period of time. Courts prefer alimony not being a permanent obligation.
The court can make an award of alimony only before the divorce is final. Consequently, an ex-spouse cannot come back after the divorce and ask for alimony. Also, if you and your spouse entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement about alimony, the court is unlikely to second-guess the terms of that contract. To unwind the agreement, the challenging party would have to prove that it is not a valid contract or that it is shockingly unfair. The divorce lawyers at Haspel & McLeod, P.C. protect the interests of those are likely to be required to pay alimony, as well as those who expect to receive it.
Maryland has several types of alimony
Under Maryland law, alimony can take several forms, including:
- Alimony pendente lite — Alimony pendente lite (which is Latin for “pending litigation”) is paid only between the time you file for divorce, where alimony is requested, and the time the divorce becomes final. The purpose is to maintain the status quo while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. A spouse who is awarded alimony pendente lite won’t necessarily be awarded alimony in the final divorce order.
- Rehabilitative alimony — This is the kind of alimony that’s most likely to be awarded at the end of the divorce, if any alimony is awarded. Rehabilitative alimony typically is tied to a particular goal, such as going back to school or obtaining vocational training. Rehabilitative alimony often is awarded for two to five years, but rarely for longer than 10.
- Indefinite alimony — This is alimony with no specified end point. It occurs in cases in which the payee spouse is ill, disabled or aged, or when the payor spouse’s standard of living is grossly greater than the payee spouse’s.
If circumstances change substantially, either of the ex-spouses can ask the court to modify the alimony award. The attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C. have extensive experience in seeking modification and enforcement of alimony awards.
Factors the court considers in alimony decisions
Under Maryland law, a court is to consider the following factors when determining an alimony award:
- The ability of the spouse who is seeking alimony to be self-supporting
- The time needed for the spouse who is seeking alimony to obtain enough education or training to find employment
- The spouses’ standard of living during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The contributions — financial or otherwise — that each spouse made to the family’s well-being
- The facts that led to the divorce
- The age of each spouse
- The physical and mental condition of each spouse
- The ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet his or her own needs while meeting the needs of the spouse who is seeking alimony
- Any agreement between the parties
- The income and assets of each spouse
- The distribution of assets in the divorce
- The financial obligations of each spouse
- The retirement benefits each spouse is entitled to
- Whether the award would cause the payor spouse or a spouse who is in a healthcare facility to become eligible for government assistance earlier than would otherwise occur
Contact Haspel & McLeod, P.C. about your alimony issues
The divorce attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C. represent those who are seeking alimony as well as those who are likely to pay alimony. Call us at 301-631-0592, or contact us online today. Our Maryland attorneys represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties. Our offices are in Frederick and Rockville.