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Of all issues involved with a Maryland divorce case, disputes over alimony are among the most contentious. Sometimes called spousal support or maintenance, alimony is intended to establish financial balance between divorcing couples and enable a lower earning party to become self-sufficient. Maryland’s alimony statute includes a list of factors the court will consider in making a fair, equitable award, but the details certainly do not prevent disagreements from developing. Whether you are in the position to be paying it or requesting it, spousal support can prolong divorce proceedings when parties cannot resolve their differences.
While it may not prevent conflict entirely, getting a better understanding of alimony may help you see the issue from the other side of a dispute. Maryland divorce laws allow for multiple types of spousal maintenance, and it is important to realize how they work during the proceedings and beyond. A Baltimore County alimony lawyer can explain details according to your specific situation, but a summary is helpful.
Types of Spousal Support in Maryland
A party in a divorce case can request alimony, and a court may award it based upon the factors listed by statute. The judge will review such issues as the length of the marriage, contributions to the family by each party, age, employability, and many others in making a decision. When appropriate, a party may be awarded:
- Alimony Pendente Lite: Divorce proceedings can often take several months, or even years in a complicated case. This type of spousal maintenance is intended to provide financial support to a lower earning spouse while the case is pending.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: This is the most common spousal support to be awarded. Because it aims to provide support while the lower earning spouse gains education and training to become financially self-sufficient.
- Indefinite Alimony: Though rare, a Maryland divorce court may award spousal support with no end date. When a person’s age, physical condition, or other factors mean limited employment opportunities, the judge might consider indefinite alimony.
Options for Resolving Alimony Issues
Not all disputes over spousal support need to go to a contested hearing. There are many advantages to trying to work out an agreement. Parties can craft their own arrangement for alimony, including the type, duration, and amount.
Even if you have tried and failed at compromise, keep in mind that mediation is another option to get closer together on agreement. Often, a trained mediator can facilitate productive conversation to reach an accord on spousal maintenance. If a contested hearing becomes necessary, the court will focus on the 12 factors listed in the Maryland alimony statute.
Trust Owings Mills, MD Spousal Support Attorney to Protect Your Interests
While this overview of the types of alimony in Maryland is useful, it is no substitute for retaining solid legal representation. For additional details, please contact the Law Office of William F. Mulroney. You can call (443) 352-8433 to set up a free initial phone consultation or visit us online to learn more about our legal services.