Howard and Montgomery County Family Law Attorneys Assess Alimony During LGBTQ+ and Same-Sex Divorce
Assisting local families from conveniently situated offices in Columbia, Fulton, Bethesda and Rockville
The state of Maryland specifically outlines three separate types of alimony to provide the most appropriate support to former spouses. While it is obvious that the same alimony regulations apply to LGBTQ couples as to any other divorcing couple, there are some specific details that could have a significant impact on how much you pay or are owed. Our experienced Howard and Montgomery County divorce attorney can assist you in navigating the legal labyrinth of alimony in a same-sex divorce.
At McCabe Russell, PA, we believe that our clients come to our office locations in Fulton, Columbia, Bethesda and Rockville because we offer a high level of respect, vision and empathy. As knowledgeable and discreet divorce attorneys, we work with LGBTQ families in Howard and Montgomery Counties to help steer them to their most successful possible future.
Intention and limitations of alimony
Alimony’s true goal is to allow both spouses to meet their living expenses and financial needs in a similar manner to the way in which each lived prior to the divorce. In some marriages, both partners continued to work during their marriage and are fully self-sustaining in their own right. However, sometimes one partner has sacrificed a career, education or advancement in order to support and sustain the family. Alimony helps the non-working spouse survive while making long-term arrangements to increase his or her income and earning ability.
Alimony is neither guaranteed nor indefinite – when ordered by a judge, there is usually an established time frame either for a reassessment or termination. Even so-called “indefinite alimony” can be reevaluated if one person’s life circumstances change dramatically. The most common way for payments to end is when the person receiving alimony gets remarried. If other life circumstances arise that call for a reevaluation of alimony payments, such a loss of a job, our attorneys can assist in making sure the new agreement is appropriate.
Three types of alimony
Alimony, also known as spousal support, has three main types. Understanding the goals of each of the three types of alimony available in Maryland is useful for anyone facing a divorce.
The first type is temporary alimony, or “pendente lite” alimony. This is an alimony award that only applies while during the divorce trial itself. Ideally, both spouses will be able to come to an agreement on the valuation of the temporary alimony. If the parties cannot agree on an amount, the court may order temporary alimony based on one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay.
The second type of alimony is indefinite alimony, but this is the least favored category of alimony by judges. In an indefinite alimony award, the court does not specify an end date to the payments. Judges only consider awards of indefinite alimony when there is a sizeable disparity between the incomes of the two spouses, where the marriage has been particularly long, when the circumstances of the demise of the marriage are particularly traumatic, or when one spouse is disabled or chronically ill. Since same-sex marriage has only been legalized in Maryland since 2015, the duration of the relationship is unlikely to be reasonable grounds for indefinite alimony in a same-sex divorce.
Finally, a judge may order rehabilitative alimony, which is awarded for a specified period of time during which the lesser-earning spouse may develop a skill, further his/her education or re-enter the workforce. This is often the preferred option for all involved, as it encourages the lesser-earning spouse to become fully self-supporting over a period of time.
Helping LGBTQ clients understand alimony in Montgomery and Howard Counties
Alimony awards are based on so many individualized specifics that is can be difficult to get clear answers. Our discreet Howard and Montgomery County divorce attorneys have the skills and experience to help clients understand their alimony options. We have used these skills to represent the interests of our clients in Fulton, Columbia, Bethesda and Rockville, and we hope to be of service to you as well. Call McCabe Russell, PA at 443-917-3347 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment.