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Which Party Has to Pay Spousal Support or Alimony in A Divorce?

The Law Office Phillips & Allen PA Nov. 20, 2022

If spousal support or alimony is awarded in a divorce, it is awarded to the party that makes less money, from the party that earns more money.

Is Alimony Or Spousal Support Always Awarded In A Divorce?

Alimony or spousal support is not always awarded in a divorce.

Is There A Certain Amount Of Time That The Couple Must Be Married For To Be Eligible For Alimony?

There is not a specific amount of time that a couple must be married in order to be eligible for alimony. Technically, you are eligible for alimony on the first day of your marriage. We generally see in shorter divorces and with younger people that the courts tend to award what we call Rehabilitative Alimony for a certain term of months or years. There is a general common law guideline of at least 10 years of marriage in order to justify Permanent Alimony, which means one has to pay alimony until the other party either dies or re-marries.

When Does Alimony Or Spousal Support Generally Begin If It Is Awarded?

If a claim is initially made for temporary/pendente lite alimony, and a hearing is held, alimony may be ordered prior to the divorce. If not, then alimony begins, if at all, at the time of divorce.

Can Someone Get Support During A Legal Separation In Maryland?

The term “legal separation” is commonly used by layperson, but does not exist at law. In order to get support, you have to file a divorce action, either “limited” or “absolute.” A “limited divorce is generally filed when there are not yet grounds for an absolute divorce. The problem with a limited divorce is it often costs nearly as much, or more than, the alimony award for time period involved.

For How Long Does Someone Have To Pay Alimony Or Spousal Support?

There is no hard and fast rule for how long someone will have to pay alimony or spousal support. Maryland favors what is referred to as Rehabilitative Alimony. For example, if the husband is a professional that makes more money than the wife, and the wife reports that she wants to go back to school and get a degree or certification, then the Courts may award rehabilitative alimony to her. The courts in Maryland favor helping a former spouse become self-supporting.

How Is The Amount Of Alimony Or Spousal Support Determined In Maryland?

The two primary factors that determine the amount of alimony, or spousal support, are need and ability to pay. The spouse seeking support it has to fill out the long financial form that reflects all of their income, expenses, assets, liabilities and must show that they need money. The spouse who has a greater income must also fill out the long financial form and it must indicate that there is an ability to pay. The specific content of these forms often become a battleground issue.

For more information on Spousal Support Or Alimony In Maryland, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking talk Arnold F. Phillips by calling today.