Ending your marriage may be a difficult decision if your spouse earns most of – or all – your household’s income. Without their earnings, you will likely wonder how you will make ends meet on your own. It is possible, though, that you will qualify for alimony under Maryland’s laws. Yet, you may not know how long you could receive it for, or how much you could receive. By understanding what courts consider when awarding alimony, you will have a better idea of how it will fit into your financial future.
Types of alimony in Maryland
Three different types of alimony exist in Maryland, and the kind you receive will depend on your circumstances. If you need help covering your expenses during divorce proceedings, the court may order your spouse to pay you alimony pendente lite. Yet, an award of alimony pendente lite does not guarantee you will receive further support once your divorce finalizes.
After your divorce, you may need help making ends meet while you pursue education or training. In this case, you may be eligible for rehabilitative alimony. While rehabilitative alimony has an end date, it will likely last between three and 10 years, depending on your needs.
Maryland courts rarely award indefinite alimony. To receive this type of alimony, you must be unable to support yourself due to your age or health.
How Maryland courts determine alimony
To determine the duration and value of your alimony award, the court will weigh a variety of factors related to your marital and individual circumstances. Among these factors will be:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Your ability to become partially or completely self-supporting in the future
- The length of time it will take you to acquire education or training that will help you become self-supporting
- The circumstances that led to your divorce
- Your marital standard of living
- Your and your spouse’s economic and noneconomic contributions to your marriage
- Your and your spouse’s age, physical condition and mental condition
- Your spouse’s ability to provide you alimony while making ends meet
Even if your circumstances make you eligible to receive alimony, you will want to make sure your award’s value and duration reflect your needs. A family law attorney can help you fight for an award that is appropriate.