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Rehabilitative Versus Indefinite Alimony In Maryland Divorce Cases


One of the most essential aspects of any Maryland divorce case is alimony. There are profound differences between temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and indefinite alimony. Each tends to have a major impact on both the spouse who is receiving alimony and the spouse who is paying alimony. Those facing a dispute over alimony must realize that the stakes are enormous. Proceeding without the aid of a seasoned Maryland divorce lawyer is not wise.

Indefinite Alimony 

Indefinite alimony is established by proving that there would be an “unconscionable” difference between two divorcing parties’ financial situation before and after the divorce.

Section 11-106(b) of Maryland’s Family Code lays out 12 factors that a trial court must assess when awarding alimony to a spouse at the conclusion of divorce litigation. Section 11-106(c) stipulates that a spouse may be entitled to indefinite alimony if they achieve maximum progress toward self-sustainability, but the relative standards of living between the two spouses are unconscionably disparate. The courts look at the recipient spouse’s future earnings prospects and their expenses.

What is unconscionable disparity under Maryland law? 

The relative standard of living of the divorcing spouses is a dominating factor in whether or not indefinite alimony will be awarded. If a spouse’s standard of living and potential prospects for earning money were greatly less than the financially secure spouse, then the court may consider unconscionable disparity. In that case, an award of indefinite alimony was appropriate to the situation.

Rehabilitative Alimony 

If the court determines that alimony is appropriate to award under the factors contained in Section 11-106 but does not determine that indefinite alimony is appropriate, the court will award rehabilitative alimony.  This might apply in the case of a spouse who was a homemaker or employed part-time during the marriage who needs time to obtain education and/or training and experience in order to obtain employment and income sufficient to support herself or himself.

Talk to a Bel Air, MD Alimony and Divorce Attorney Today

Schlaich & Thompon represent the interests of spouses seeking alimony in their divorce cases. Call our Bel Air family lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your concerns immediately.



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