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What Are The Different Types Of Alimony In Maryland?


The state of Maryland has several different types of alimony. By being aware of the different types of alimony in Maryland, it’s easier to determine which type of alimony is right for a particular spouse and their situation. 

What Is Alimony? 

The definition of “alimony” is as follows: financial assistance and monetary support that is provided by one spouse to another after a marriage has ended in divorce.

Some examples of alimony are as follows:

  • A husband being ordered to pay his ex-wife $1,000 per-month, for one-year.
  • A wife being ordered to pay $300, to her ex-husband, for an entire decade.
  • A husband being ordered to pay his ex-wife $800 per-month for an indefinite period.

The purpose of alimony is to ensure that a spouse who cannot support themselves will be able to do so, while also sustaining the lifestyle that they’ve grown accustomed to.

What Are The Different Types Of Alimony In Maryland? 

Right within the state of Maryland, there are three different types of alimony. Each type of alimony is a little different from one another, but they all serve the same purpose: ensuring that an ex-spouse has the financial support that they need.

The three different types of alimony, available within the state of Maryland, are as follows:

  • Alimony Pendente Lite
  • Rehabilitative Alimony
  • Indefinite Alimony

By going over what sets these three types of alimony apart from one another, it’s easy to determine which one is right for a particular spouse and their situation.

Alimony Pendente Lite 

Even though the name is rather vague, alimony pendente lite is quite simple.

All throughout the divorce, a spouse that is unable to support themselves may not have access to the financial resources that their spouse previously offered.

To ensure that these individuals are able to support themselves while the divorce is pending, the court may order one spouse to pay alimony pendente lite. This sum allows the other spouse to maintain a reasonable lifestyle, throughout the divorce process.

Just because a spouse is awarded alimony pendente lite throughout the divorce, does not mean they will be awarded alimony once the divorce has been finalized.

Rehabilitative Alimony 

Rehabilitative alimony is designed to support a particular spouse, so that they can maintain their lifestyle. But, just as the name suggests, rehabilitative alimony is also designed for the purpose of rehabilitation.

Within this context, “rehabilitation” refers to a particular goal that, when achieved, will allow a spouse to earn their own money and support themselves. Some of the goals that fall under this label are as follows:

  • Going back to school and obtaining a degree.
  • Developing new skills and acquiring a well-paying job with those skills.
  • Entering the workplace once again and moving into a higher position.

To ensure that a spouse has the time and energy they need to achieve these goals, they may be awarded rehabilitative alimony for a set period of time. This set period of time may be as short as six-months or, even, as long as a few years.

Indefinite Alimony 

Many spouses are not, in fact, awarded indefinite alimony. But, those that are receive alimony, from their former spouse, until one of the following occurs:

  • They marry someone else.
  • They pass away.

Given the fact that indefinite alimony lasts for an indefinite period, it is rarely awarded. But, when indefinite alimony is awarded, it’s usually due to one spouse being unable to support themselves.

To go along with the above, indefinite alimony may be awarded if that spouse can support themselves, but not to the level of the standard of living they previously enjoyed. 

Do You Need Legal Help? 

If you need legal assistance with an alimony case in Maryland, it can be greatly beneficial to contact a trusted Bel Air alimony lawyer. The lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in criminal and family law. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation. 




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