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Permanent alimony, still a possibility for Marylanders

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Imagine for a moment that you and your spouse are going through divorce proceedings. You didn't sign a premarital agreement so at this juncture, you and your spouse are hammering out financial details such as who will be responsible for making child support payments and who should pay alimony to the other spouse.

Because you make more than your spouse, a request is made to have you pay alimony. Initially, you're okay with the idea. After all, you understand that losing your portion of income could be financially devastating to your former spouse. But then, after being told that Maryland still allows permanent alimony judgments, you become less okay with the idea and more concerned about your protection under the law.

If you think a scenario such as this couldn't possibly happen to you, think again. Although other states may consider permanent alimony to be an out-of-date practice, judges in our state still have the option of granting it to a divorcing spouse. In some cases, permanent alimony can have a devastating impact on a payer's financial future.  Lengthy alimony awards have been responsible for bankruptcy filings that leave a divorced spouse's finances in shambles.

Among many other factors, a judge will consider the paying spouse's financial circumstances and ability to pay, as well as the receiving spouse's ability to become self-supporting in the future. An experienced family law attorney can help present this information to the judge in a clear and persuasive manner. 

If this is an issue in your case, our Montgomery County readers need to consider the importance of obtaining the services of an attorney, especially one who can make sure that an alimony award is fair and feasible before a judge issues a court order.

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