Are you contemplating divorce? You may have significant concerns about alimony in Maryland. In a divorce settlement, either spouse can receive alimony depending on need, as long as the other spouse is in a position to pay. Unlike some states, Maryland does not have a formula for determining alimony. Instead, alimony requests are reviewed carefully by judges who consider multiple aspects, all defined by Maryland Family Law. Having represented thousands of clients in divorce cases, the knowledgeable attorneys at Fait & DiLima, LLP discuss the seven most common factors that impact alimony calculations.
Factor #1: Are You Able To Support Yourself?
Legal phrase: The ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting.
The court will want to know if the person has a part-time job, a job with a low income, or is unemployed. If the person is unemployed, the court will consider whether the person is likely to reenter the workforce. Depending on the circumstances, it may be difficult for some people to obtain employment. For example, someone with significant disabilities may be unable to support themself.
Factor #2: How Long Will Job Training Take?
Legal phrase: The time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment.
The court will examine when a person might reenter the workforce. A person who hasn’t been employed for 15 years may first need to earn a college degree or complete a training program. Based on their experience with past clients, the Fait & DiLima divorce lawyers in Rockville, Maryland, can help you demonstrate to the court what type of job preparation you need, how long it will take, and tuition costs.
Factor #3: How Well Did You Live?
Legal phrase: The standard of living the parties established during their marriage.
The court aims to provide parity in alimony cases. If your marriage allowed you both to live at a certain level of ease, the court would try to ensure that you both will enjoy a similar standard of living as divorced parties, although it may not be at the previous level.
Factor #4: How Long Were You Married?
Legal phrase: The duration of the marriage.
This is self-evident: for alimony purposes, the duration of the marriage is significant to the court. For instance, the alimony claims will be different for someone married for 25 years versus someone married for three years.
Factor #5: What Support Did Each Person Provide?
Legal phrase: The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family.
Whether both spouses worked for a full-time or part-time salary, or one worked, and one stayed at home, the court will consider the contributions each made to the family’s comfort and security.
Factor #6: Why The Divorce?
Legal phrase: The circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties.
Adultery, domestic abuse, neglect, theft, abandonment…there are many reasons why couples divorce. The court evaluates all the circumstances in an alimony case; one reason doesn’t necessarily outweigh another. To build the most robust case, engage the services of an alimony attorney.
Factor #7: How Old Is Each Spouse?
Legal phrase: The age of each party.
Age matters in alimony cases. A younger person will likely get a job quickly and may not need alimony for long. An older person may find it harder to obtain employment; they may need alimony until they retire. The age of the person providing alimony is also considered: if they are working, how many more years can they be expected to work? If they are retired, how long is their expected lifespan?
Other Issues The Court Will Consider
Alongside these seven factors, the court will look at:
- the physical and mental condition of each party;
- the financial status of the person from whom alimony is sought;
- prenuptial and postnuptial agreements the couple may have;
- the financial needs and resources of each party, including retirement accounts and pension plans; and
- the financial and Medicare impact on both parties if one party lives in a nursing home or other care facility
Fait & DiLima, LLP: Bold Approaches, Effective Resolutions
If you’ve been searching online for “alimony lawyers near me,” you owe it to yourself to speak with Fait & DiLima. Don’t approach this process alone if you expect to collect or pay alimony. The court and your ex’s attorney will be current on the latest legal statutes. Will you? Alimony can be a very contentious issue. We guarantee you’ll leave money on the table if you don’t have an advocate in court.
With more than 50 years of collective experience, our award-winning team has successfully represented clients in alimony cases. Contact us today at (301) 251-0100 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Rockville and Frederick. For your convenience, we also offer online meetings.
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