When Maryland residents go through a divorce, they usually have two primary concerns: their money and their children. Property, asset and debt division, alimony, child custody and child support are typically the main issues in most divorce cases involving minor children.
Of course, in those cases in which there are no minor children involved, the division of property and assets becomes the unquestioned primary concern. Either way, alimony or spousal support, in particular, can become a contentious issue.
Alimony and divorce
Despite outdated misconceptions about who should pay and who should receive alimony, Maryland law states that either spouse may be required to pay before and after a divorce. There are three different types of alimony:
- Alimony pendente lite: This type of alimony can be awarded on a temporary basis before the divorce is finalized, with a goal of evening the playing field financially between spouses during ongoing litigation.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony can be awarded for a specific period of time after the divorce is finalized, with a goal of giving the receiving spouse enough time to become self-supporting.
- Indefinite alimony: This type of alimony is more rare and as the name implies, is awarded for an indefinite period. This is mostly awarded in cases where the receiving spouse is unable to become self-supporting due to a specific reason.
While alimony or spousal support is not a guarantee in every divorce, in cases where it is likely that one spouse will be ordered to pay alimony to the other, this can become a point of contention. Payors of alimony may take issue with paying money to someone they are divorcing or have just divorced, while receivers of alimony may take issue with the amount or duration of payments.
When an alimony dispute is part of a divorce case, the ability to resolve other issues in the case may be affected as well. The entire case may grind to a halt as the parties fight over any potential attempts to agree to alimony arrangements. It may come down to presenting arguments in front of a family law judge.
Protecting your financial security
Whether you are a potential payor or receiver of alimony, your financial security may be at stake – whether for the near future or indefinitely. A family law attorney can assist with protecting your rights and fighting for what you deserve.