Alimony is a payment by one former spouse to the other for the purpose of allowing the receiving spouse to become self-supporting within a certain time-frame.  There are a number of factors that the Court looks at in determining whether alimony should be granted and also the amount and duration of alimony:

Factors Considered by the Court

  1. The ability of the parties seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;
  2. The time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment;
  3. The standard of living that the parties established during their marriage;
  4. The duration of the marriage;
  5. The contributions, monetary and non-monetary, of each of the party to the well-being of the family;
  6. The circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
  7. The age of each party;
  8. The physical and mental condition of each party;
  9. The ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony;
  10. Any agreement between the parties;
  11. The financial needs and financial resources of each party, including:
    1. All income and assets, including all property that does not produce income;
    2. Any monetary award concerning property and award of possession and use of the family property;
    3. The nature and amount of the financial obligations of each party; and
    4. The right of each party to receive retirement benefits; and
  12. Whether the award would cause a paying spouse or a spouse who is a resident of a care facility with more than two patients to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur.

Rehabilitate versus Indefinite Alimony

Based on these factors, the Court will determine whether the alimony granted is either rehabilitative or indefinite.  Rehabilitative alimony is alimony set for a certain amount of time in order for the party receiving alimony to become self-supporting.  The party receiving alimony may be in school and need to graduate to obtain employment or may be currently part time employed and need time to become full time employed.  Rehabilitative alimony is granted more often than indefinite.

Indefinite alimony is typically awarded when the marriage is long and the non-self supporting spouse is at an age where working enough to support him or herself is not possible.  Another circumstance when indefinite alimony is granted is when the non-self supporting spouse tries everything within his or her power to become self supporting and the lifestyle between the spouses is still “unconscionably disparate.”  This type of alimony is rarely granted. There is no set deadline on when the alimony ends and may last as long as the spouse receiving the alimony is alive.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation

During a consultation at Azari Law LLC, our family law attorneys will evaluate your case and clearly explain the legal process and also manage your expectations of the case as it develops. Call us today at (301) 362-3300, or email us to set up a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We are conveniently located in Laurel, Silver Spring, Rockville, and Ellicott City MD.