Among the many issues that are subject to dispute in a Maryland divorce, alimony can be one of the most contentious. People who have ended a marriage might bristle at being obligated to pay to help support a former spouse. The receiving spouse could claim that he or she is entitled to receive payments for a variety of reasons including having cared for children or put their lives and future on hold with the other party worked, completed school and pursued their goals. Regardless of the perspective of the divorcing spouses, it is important to understand the law and to be protected from the start.
The duration of alimony
Often, disputes center around the amount of alimony that will be paid. Equally concerning to many people is the duration for which they will be obligated to pay. The receiving spouse could be worried about the duration as it might not be perceived as sufficient for them to get on their own feet and support themselves. The court seeks fairness and equity in its determination of how much alimony will be paid and the length of time for payments.
Factors that are considered include: if the person receiving alimony can support him or herself in full or in part; how long it might take for that person to acquire marketable skills or education for self-support; the standard of living that the couple had during the marriage; how long they were married; what contributions the parties made during the marriage; how old the parties are; their condition; if there was a prenuptial agreement or other negotiated agreement; and the financial needs and resources of the parties. Alimony may be awarded indefinitely if the receiving spouse is deemed unable to self-support due to a disability, age, an illness, or because he or she is infirm.
Addressing divorce issues like alimony may require legal representation
In a best-case scenario, a divorcing couple can negotiate a reasonable resolution without the need of court intervention. This may be possible in amicable divorce. Unfortunately, many divorces are rife with disagreements and there is no middle ground. Each side will have their own position regarding common issues in a divorce. With alimony, it is important to have legal advice to address how much will be paid and how long it will be paid for. A firm with experience in divorce cases may be able to help.