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How to determine alimony in Maryland

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Even though a large number of marriages end in divorce, not all of them include alimony, which is a form of spousal support. In a typical alimony scenario, one of the former spouses will pay their ex-spouse periodically to help that spouse pay for bills and other necessities as he or she 'rehabilitates' back into the workforce. Alimony can occur in one of two ways; either the couple comes to an agreement or a court issues the order.

The main purpose of alimony is to prevent unequitable financial effects to a former spouse who does not work or who makes significantly less money than the other spouse. Alimony can be awarded because one spouse left a career to make a home and raise children during the marriage or to simply help the spouse maintain the lifestyle he or she became accustomed to during the marriage.

The courts in Maryland use a variety of factors to determine how alimony will be awarded in a divorce case. This is much different from the statutory requirements most courts have to follow when awarding child support during a divorce.

Courts are to consider the following factors when determining alimony payments in Maryland:

- The standard of living by the couple during the marriage.

- The length of time needed for the alimony recipient to either obtain a job, learn new skills or return to school for a degree.

- The age, financial state, physical state and emotional state of both spouses.

- The ability of the spouse who will be paying alimony to make those payments and also continue to sustain him or herself.

- How long the marriage lasted.

Learn more about determining alimony in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and how you can acquire these payments in divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," accessed March 28, 2017

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