Alimony, or spousal support as it is sometimes called in other jurisdictions, is a payment made from one spouse to another following the granting of an absolute or limited divorce in the state of Maryland.
Much like child support, alimony is not designed to punish one spouse or give the other spouse a financial windfall, but to provide financial maintenance and support to the lower-income spouse, so he or she has a chance to get back on his or her feet, go to school or vocational training, find suitable employment, or otherwise reestablish himself or herself.
It should be noted that alimony can be paid as:
- A single lump sum payment;
- Over time;
- A combination of both payments over time and an initial lump sum; or
- As a grant of real or personal property in lieu of alimony during the property distribution phase of a divorce.
If you want to find out more about your rights and responsibilities in regard to alimony, contact a Friendship Heights spousal support lawyer today.
Types of Alimony in Maryland
If divorcing or separating parties can come to an agreement as to alimony, and that agreement can even include both parties choosing to forego any claims to alimony, the court will most likely follow the parties’ wishes. If the parties cannot agree alimony, the court will hold a trial and make such determination based upon the evidence and fashion an alimony or award order when appropriate.
In order to make a determination as to alimony in a Montgomery County divorce case, the first thing the judge must consider is what type of support may apply:
- Temporary alimony, which is sometimes referred to as pendente lite alimony in a Maryland divorce, is a type of alimony that is designed to provide support to the requesting spouse during the pendency of the case. Once the case is over, the temporary order will no longer be valid.
- Rehabilitative alimony is a type of alimony that begins when a divorce case is finalized by the issuance of an absolute divorce. This alimony award is not permanent and is designed to give the payee spouse enough time to get back on his or her feet.
- Indefinite alimony is essentially a permanent alimony award that will last an indefinite amount of time. However, it will generally terminate upon remarriage of the payee spouse.
Once the type of alimony has been determined, the judge will use a variety factors outlined in the Maryland Code of Laws to determine the appropriate amount of support, including the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the physical and mental health of the parties, the income of each party to the marriage, the reasons for the marriage ending (abuse, cruelty, abandonment, etc.), and a variety of other factors deemed to be in the interest of justice.
When it comes to spousal support, you want to be certain that your case and financial situation are properly presented. Contact a Friendship Heights alimony lawyer at DiPietro Law Group, PLLC and put our skilled team on your side.