Alimony is but one financial aspect of divorce and there are many for which you should have a qualified divorce financial professional review.
Alimony is a generic term that actually refers to two types of support payments made by the higher earning spouse to the lesser earning spouse:
- Alimony Pendente Lite – Support after the divorce complaint is filed and before the divorce is final
- Alimony – Payments mad once the divorce is finalized for a set period of time per the divorce settlement
Alimony in Maryland must be awarded before divorce. Alimony awards are almost always rehabilitative, i.e., temporary. On rare occasions, e.g., when a spouse is disabled or too old to enter the workforce, an alimony award may be indefinite. Courts look at many factors when determining if alimony should be granted, especially the ability of the lesser-earning spouse to be wholly or partly self-supporting and how long it will take for him or her to get the necessary education or training to be self-supporting. Standard of living, length of marriage, and a number of other items may also be considered. The People’s Law Library of Maryland has a “quiz” to help you determine the likelihood of an alimony award in your specific divorce. Access it here: Maryland PPL Alimony Quiz.
There is no formula for alimony in the state of Maryland and alimony awards are not dependent on whether child support will be paid. However, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has developed guidelines and a calculator for states that do not have their own.
The vast majority of men and women view alimony with disdain—who wants to have to write a check to their ex-spouse month after month? Likewise, does anyone like waiting for and worrying about the monthly check they’re expecting from their ex? What happens if the payor dies, loses their job, or becomes disabled? Is he or she going to be obsessing about whether their ex is cohabitating with a new partner? One alternative is to add an offset to the distribution of the assets equal to the present value of the expected alimony payments. So long as there are sufficient assets to cover the amount, this is a win-win for both parties and eliminates the ongoing angst of monthly payments.
Read more on divorce financial considerations here.
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