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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

The Three Different Types Of Alimony In Maryland


Alimony is one of the most vigorously contested elements of divorce. The State of Maryland recognizes three different types of alimony, namely temporary, rehabilitative, and indefinite. The differences between these three types of alimony are significant. They can have a tremendous impact on both the spouse who receives alimony and the one who pays. Proceeding without representation when alimony is on the table is a gamble.

As part of your divorce proceedings, a judge will determine whether or not one party is entitled to alimony. Alimony, also called spousal support is money paid from one spouse to another. Alimony is based on the need for economic support to meet their living expenses. It is not awarded as a punishment for wrongdoing within the marriage or as compensation. It is strictly a matter of financial need. If you waive your right to alimony, you cannot come back to the table later and request spousal support.

Three different types of alimony 

Temporary alimony refers to alimony that is paid during divorce proceedings. It is temporary because once your divorce is finalized, it must be converted into either rehabilitative or indefinite alimony if it is to continue. The order thus terminates at the end of your divorce proceedings.

The two other types of alimony, indefinite and rehabilitative can only begin once the divorce is finalized.

Rehabilitative alimony refers to spousal support that is paid for a specific period of time. During that period, the recipient spouse would be going to school or otherwise learning skills to help them with their career so that they could become self-supporting.

Indefinite alimony is alimony that is paid indefinitely. Maryland only awards indefinite alimony occasionally. A spouse must be able to demonstrate that they are unlikely to ever become self-supporting. A spouse can also demonstrate that rehabilitative alimony would result in an unconscionable disparity in the living standards between the two spouses.

What factors does the court consider when awarding alimony? 

Maryland courts consider many factors when it comes to awarding alimony:

  • Circumstances that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage
  • The ability of payer of alimony to meet their own needs while paying spousal support
  • The age of both parties to the divorce
  • The contributions (both monetary and otherwise) of both parties to the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The financial needs and resources of both parties
  • The relative standard of living established during the marriage
  • The physical and mental health of both parties
  • The time necessary for the recipient to complete school or training
  • Whether the party seeking alimony will be self-supporting

Alimony can be terminated by a date set forth by the court, when either party dies, or when the recipient of alimony remarries.

Talk to a Bel Air, Maryland Divorce Lawyer Today 

If you have any questions concerning alimony, contact the Bel Air family lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson today. With over 60 years of experience under our belts, we can help you with any questions concerning your divorce. Call today to learn more.

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