Rockville Family Law Attorney Discusses Alimony In Maryland

My name is Raul Kishore and I’m a partner with the law firm of Shah & Kishore. Today I wanted to discuss the various types of alimony in Maryland. The two main types of alimony that a party seeks in a divorce case are what we call rehabilitative alimony and permanent alimony. rehabilitative alimony is alimony that a party gets if they’re trying to get back on their feet and rehabilitate to be self-sufficient. Permanent alimony is for a party who had been in a long marriage or has a medical issue and has not been contributing monetarily throughout the marriage. They are seeking to maintain the standard of living they had become accustomed to during their marriage. 

Let’s say I have been married to my spouse for 25 years. She hasn’t worked throughout the marriage and does not have the education or career to get back to a standard of living that would allow her to live in the same manner as she lived throughout the marriage. In that situation, she would seek permanent alimony. Permanent alimony when granted by the court is given to a spouse for the duration of their life. The only way that permanent alimony is terminated is if either party passes, or the recipient spouse gets remarried, that’s usually the standard.

Now, there is one other type of alimony, which we call Alimony Pendente Lite (APL). That is the alimony that you receive during the litigation. A lot of divorces last from six months to a year, or even longer, depending on the complexity of the litigation. Alimony Pendente Lite means pending litigation, it’s a hearing that the court gives you in the early part of litigation and either spouse can seek Pendente Lite Alimony. It is alimony that if one spouse doesn’t have the resources or the ability to support themselves, at that time during the litigation, the court will give the alimony to that party. The party that has to pay, has to have the sufficient financial ability to support that spouse. This Pendente alimony also does terminate at the end of the litigation. At that point, the eligible spouse would get rehabilitative alimony and or permanent alimony, which is what I defined a few minutes ago.

As for the factors that the court looks at to determine whether a party can get alimony. First of all what I would like for you to understand is that it is not a formula in Maryland, it is based on many, many factors. The courts look at those factors to determine how much alimony, and for how long they are going to order the alimony in that case. Child support on the other hand goes through a formula based on income and childcare expenses. They do not do that in alimony cases. So it is important to understand that you do need an attorney who has the experience and is looking at it the way courts look at it. 

The biggest factor that you need to understand that the courts look at is the financial statements of both parties. I spend hours and hours with my clients going over the financial statement and making sure they understand the importance of it because that’s the one thing that the judge will look at to see if you will receive alimony or you will have to pay alimony. Other factors that the court looks at are the duration of the marriage, who caused the dissolution of the marriage, the age of the parties, the educational level of the parties, the ability of the party seeking alimony to work, etc. 

Something else the courts look at is whether the party seeking alimony is trying to voluntarily impoverish themselves. There is a whole other discussion to be had for voluntary impoverishment, which I get into in another video. 

Now, the other thing that the court looks at is the monetary and non-monetary contribution of the parties during the marriage to determine whether the alimony will be given. Another thing that is very important to determine alimony is what was the standard of living that the parties had during the marriage. That establishes the basis of what the party seeking alimony needs going forward. 

The financial ability of the party that has to pay the alimony is of course an important factor. This is where the financial statement comes in. Very important. Then the court will look at whether there were any agreements between the parties. Whether the parties had a prenup, postnup, or anything that they agreed upon about alimony, and that will be taken into account by the courts. Okay. 

Another thing the courts may look at is if a party is made to pay alimony and that puts them in a position where they are forced to seek legal or government assistance. If alimony would cause them to get government assistance of some sort, that may be a factor in the court determining whether they should give alimony in this case. 

I did discuss the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. If it’s a fault-ground basis for the dissolution of marriage, and the fault is proven, then the court may look at that, and give that some credence in giving the alimony to the party seeking it. If the party seeking alimony is not the one to cause the dissolution, that would be to their benefit. 

As I said before, you need attorney assistance in an alimony case, because that alimony is based on financials and the financial statement. You need an attorney that has a strong financial background. My background, if you look at my website, is that I have a bachelor’s degree in business, a bachelor’s in finance and economics, and a master’s in business administration. So because of my strong business background, I do a lot of business divorces. 

I have reviewed a lot of financial statements in these cases and know how the judges review them, and what the important things to put into a financial statement are. Including expenses, which are one of the big things that are put into the financial statement, including all the different various incomes that you have to report, that the court looks at. Then you have to look at the assets and liabilities. The courts will look at the overall assets of the parties and how those will be distributed in a divorce, to determine whether alimony should be given to a spouse seeking it. 

Contact Our Maryland Alimony Attorney

I wanted to go over this with you all as quickly as possible, just to give you a flavor of what is important for alimony, and the different types of alimony in Maryland. If you do need assistance in this, please reach out to me and I can go over how it would affect your situation. Please give us a call my phone number is 301-315-0001 or you can contact me via our online form. Thank you and have a nice day.

Our essential business is open during the pandemic Close