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For lesser-earner, divorce might mean need for job, education

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The process of divorce comes with countless reasons for parties to be anxious. Many worry that they are not making the right decision. They might worry that the divorce will hurt the children. They might worry about what others will think if they divorce. Many also worry about money, both during the short-term (what divorce will cost) and the long-term. 

The long-term financial impact of divorce is what we want to discuss in this blog post. Specifically, the matter of alimony plays an important role in divorcing parties' lives. Terms of spousal support result in some financial stability for the lesser-earning party and a financial cost for the other. 

But the message we want to emphasize to our readers and clients is that alimony very often is not permanent. 

In fact, indefinite alimony is rare in Maryland family law cases. Therefore, it is best for the lesser-earners in a divorce to understand that their post-divorce life may involve more than getting used to being single. It will involve working more, finding work or the possible need/opportunity to get an education that could help them support themselves.

In decades past, the lesser-earner was commonly the woman in a divorce. Now, reports indicate that it is becoming more common that female breadwinners are the parties required to pay alimony. What alimony terms come down to is this: Who makes more money? Who needs more money following the divorce to find stability now and for the future? 

Finding stability is encouraged in Maryland divorce cases. While the state does allow indefinite alimony to be assigned in some cases, that is not the norm. A lesser-earner who is in working condition (health-wise and age-wise) is generally awarded temporary alimony in an effort to help them find work and/or get schooling that will lead to individual financial security. Support payments will provide them money while they secure a job and/or necessary qualification. The money serves as a safety net while the lesser-earner works toward self-sufficiency.

This might come as a daunting surprise to some men and women who have relied on the income of their spouse during their marriage. It can be scary to reenter the workforce or have to become a marketable job candidate again. Life after divorce can also be liberating. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you fight for the financial support you might need and deserve after a divorce in order to find secure financial footing on your own. 

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