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Divorce Lawyer Prince Georges County – Alimony/Spousal Support

In Maryland, the obligation of one suppose to support the other, also known as alimony, is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by both parties or at the court’s discretion.

It is a periodic payment made by one former spouse to another with the purpose of the recipient spouse eventually being able to become self-supporting.

Divorce Lawyer Prince Georges CountyFurther, it can only be awarded before the final ending of the marriage. The Maryland Court of Appeals has noted,” [t]he longstanding rule in Maryland… that the right to claim alimony is extinguished at the time of the severance of the marital relationship.”

Moreover, the court does not grant alimony if it is not filed for. If you filed for alimony, and you were granted it, the court is likely to be bound by that agreement. This means that the court will not be able to change the agreement as part of your divorce. You can also come to an agreement with your spouse, which can be broader that what the court may decide. If you are considering this option, you should speak to an family law attorney first.

There are different type of alimony that may be granted to the filing spouse, which is determined by the court.

  1. Temporary Alimony: A court can award this type of alimony between the time you file for divorce, make a request for alimony, and the time the divorce is final. The purpose of this type of alimony is to maintain the status quo during the divorce. It does not necessarily mean that you will be awarded alimony after the divorce.
  2. Rehabilitative alimony: this is the most common type of alimony awarded. Generally, it is associated with a time-limited goal such as going back to school. While the amount and time frame vary case-by-case, if your situation matches the criteria, a good range estimate is an average of 3-10 years of rehabilitative alimony.
  3. Indefinite alimony: this is a relatively rare type of alimony awarded; It has no specific end point. You may receive indefinite alimony if some or all of the following are satisfied: your age, an illness, or a disability prevents you from making reasonable progress toward supporting yourself; or secondly, even after the party seeking alimony will have made progress towards becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate (Maryland Code – Family Law Chapter – Section: 11-106).

The following criteria is considered when determining the type and amount of alimony you will receive:

  • the ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;
  • the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment;
  • the standard of living that the parties established during their marriage;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the physical and mental condition of each party;
  • any agreement between the parties;
  • the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each of the party to the well-being of the family;
  • the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
  • the age of each party;
  •  the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony;
  • any agreement between the parties;
  •  the financial needs and financial resources of each party, including:
    • all income and assets, including all property that does not produce income;
    • any monetary award concerning property and award of possession and use of the family property
    • the nature and amount of the financial obligations of each party; and
    • the right of each party to receive retirement benefits; and
  • whether the award would cause a paying spouse or a spouse who is a resident of a care facility with more than two patients to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur.

If you are seeking considering filing for a divorce, it is very important that you speak to a reputable family law attorney. The Burton Firm Family Law Attorney’s are experienced and know the family law court system. We encourage you to take advantage of our fee consultation policy, call us today. We will evaluate you case, answer your questions and concerns, and provide you with advice regarding your legal options. Call now, we can help you.


Aubrey Burton, Jr.
6005 Old Silver Hill Road | Forestville, MD 20747
Telephone: (301) 420-5540
Fax: (888) 778-0475

Divorce Lawyer Prince Georges County – Alimony/Spousal Support
Maryland family law and divorce Attorney serving Prince George’s County, Charles County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County and Calvert County.
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October 4, 2013