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Will I Receive Alimony In My Maryland Divorce?


When a couple has been married for a long time, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to make monthly payments to the other to help support them after the divorce is finalized. Alimony is one aspect of divorce that either gets settled during mediation or through litigation. The courts will weigh several factors when determining what a fair alimony payment should look like. In this article, the Maryland divorce lawyers at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered will discuss key aspects of alimony, when it is awarded, how it is calculated, and when a spouse is entitled to receive it.

What is alimony in Maryland? 

Strictly speaking, alimony is a court-ordered financial payment made from one spouse to the other leading up to a divorce and after the divorce is finalized. Maryland has three types of alimony: “pendente lite” (which the litigation is pending), rehabilitative and indefinite.

Pendente lite alimony is used to maintain some stability while the court processes the case.  It is based on the reasonable need of one spouse compared to the other spouse’s ability to support that need.

Rehabilitative alimony is paid over a short period of time to help a spouse become self-supporting once a divorce is finalized.

Indefinitely alimony is less frequently awarded. As the name implies, it is paid over an indefinite period of time. It can be awarded in cases of disability, illness, age, or when one spouse earns considerably more than the other and the lack of financial support would leave that spouse destitute. Indefinite alimony helps the spouse maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage.

Courts will award alimony retroactively to the date when the request was filed. This means that alimony is retroactively awarded to the date when the divorce was filed.

How is alimony calculated in Maryland? 

Unlike other states, there is no “alimony calculator” in the state of Maryland. Instead, it is left to the judge’s discretion to decide. Judges consider several factors when making an award of rehabilitative or indefinite alimony to a financially dependent spouse. These include:

  • The recipient’s ability to support themselves
  • The time it will take for a recipient to acquire education, training, or employment
  • The standard of living that the recipient enjoyed during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage (monetary and non-monetary)
  • What caused the divorce
  • The payer’s ability to pay alimony while still meeting their own needs
  • The financial needs of the recipient spouse

How is alimony paid in Maryland? 

Alimony can be paid in several different ways. Most often, it is paid as a set amount on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Courts can enter an Income Withholding Order to deduct payments directly from the paying spouse’s paycheck. In other cases, the court will permit the paying spouse to make payments directly to the recipient spouse.

Talk to a Maryland Alimony Lawyer Today 

Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered represent the interests of spouses who are looking to receive alimony payments in divorce. We also help spouses who are paying alimony renegotiate the terms of the court order. Call our Bel Air family lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your options right away.

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