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Should alimony be an issue in Maryland divorces?

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From our previous posts, readers can probably tell that there are many different facets to pursuing a divorce in Maryland. The more issues a couple has, the more that must be discussed, parsed through and decided before a divorce can successfully occur. One of those issues can be alimony, which is often a contentious discussion when one former spouse believes they are being required to give financial support to the very person they want to break from.

The term alimony is increasingly being replaced in the legal community by the expressions spousal support and spousal maintenance. A recent article on the Huffington Post laid out an interesting history of the concept of alimony, dating it back to the Code of Hammurabi. The term "alimony" apparently comes from a Latin word meaning nourishment and sustenance. But do couples even contemplate alimony when they first decide to get a divorce?

The Huffington Post article described how it seems that younger people these days are not entirely convinced that alimony should continue as a legal principle. Some think it is a dated concept, from a time when the husband was the dominant, or sometimes only, wage earner in the household. While that is, for the most part, a thing of the past, it is not always the case that one spouse can simply get on with life from what used to be a co-dependent relationship.

There are real-life financial consequences in a post-divorce existence. When one spouse is obviously in a better position to succeed after a divorce, sometimes it is only fair for that spouse to agree to a monthly payment, which will allow the other individual to get back on his or her feet. Alimony can be a contentious issue in a divorce, but when an alimony agreement can be reached, it is often something that becomes a key part of maintaining a reasonable standard of living.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Is Alimony Still Necessary?" Kristen Houghton, May 31, 2012

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