Columbia Maryland Alimony Lawyers
Fighting for clients when equitable division awards just are not enough to restart life after a divorce
Alimony is a payment that one spouse makes to the other spouse after a divorce. It is a way of addressing the fundamental inequity of one spouse not being able to earn a sustainable income. At McCabe Russell, PA, we understand the circumstances that justify an award of alimony, and the options you may have if you are paying support that is no longer warranted. Our experienced family lawyers in Columbia review your work history, financial returns, work experience and a host of other factors to show that a short- or long-term award is merited.
What are the various kinds of alimony awards in Maryland?
When you get divorced, you are not guaranteed an alimony award; it is up to the sole discretion of the court, unless you and your spouse agree to spousal support on your own terms. There are three categories of alimony that may be awarded in Maryland:
- Alimony pendente lite. This type of alimony is awarded through litigation during the divorce contest. In some cases, a spouse tries to use his or her economic advantage to gain the upper hand in the outcome of all phases of a divorce case. Alimony pendente lite requires that a disadvantaged spouse receive income during the litigation phase so he or she can focus on the court process instead of worrying about paying the bills.
- Rehabilitative alimony. Many spouses raise the children, take care of the house or take a low-income job while their co-spouse gets an education, opens a business or pursues a career. Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term (usually a few years) award of money to help the disadvantaged spouse get his or her own schooling, learn a trade or get stared in a new work environment.
- Indefinite alimony. Some spouses will never be able to earn a sustainable income. They may be disabled or chronically ill. They may not be able to acquire the skills they need to work at anything other than low-paying jobs. Because this form of spousal support could conceivably be awarded forever, courts rarely award it.
Changes in alimony can be ordered if the spouse paying the award loses a job, the spouse receiving alimony remarries, or for other justifiable reasons.
How is the amount of the alimony award decided?
Howard County family court reviews many different factors to determine if alimony should be granted and how much the award should be. Courts, mediators, divorce collaborators and opposing counsel review the following factors:
- How many years the couple was married
- The economic situation of each spouse
- The ability of each spouse to earn a living
- The age of each spouse
- The mental and physical health of the spouses
- The reasons for the divorce
- The academic degrees and work experience of each spouse
- The financial obligations of the spouses
- The opportunity to receive retirement benefits
- Whether there were any pre-marital or post-marital agreements covering alimony
How long does spousal support last?
There is no legal limit as to how long alimony should last. Depending on the agreement between the parties, or what the court has ordered, the alimony may be paid for a fixed period of time, or indefinitely.
How a couple’s assets were divided may also play the role in a decision about spousal support. An experienced Columbia divorce lawyer understands these factors and how to obtain the best possible alimony award possible based on your family conditions.
Get help from an experienced Columbia alimony attorney today
Don’t make any assumptions about your entitlement to alimony. You may be entitled to help today even though you’re in the middle of a contest. Family law does make economic fairness a priority. The Columbia alimony lawyers at McCabe Russell, PA are respected for our service to both men and women, straight and same-sex couples, rich and not-so-rich couples. We’ll explain your options and help you get the alimony award you deserve. To make an appointment now, please phone us at 443-812-1435 or use our contact form. We also maintain offices in Fulton, Bethesda and Rockville.