20th Nov 2014

There are different types of alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded temporarily to give a spouse the ability to obtain education or training before reentering the workforce. Some spouses have been out of the workforce for such a long time that they no longer possess marketable skills. It would be unfair to expect them to reenter the workforce at a salary that is conducive to maintaining their current standard of living. For that reason, a court may award a spouse rehabilitative alimony long enough for them to gain marketable skills.

Some spouse may be awarded permanent alimony for a number of reasons. One reason may be that the spouse’s age and/or health may prevent them from supporting themselves financially. Another reason may be that the ex-spouse’s standard of living is unconscionably disparate from the spouse seeking alimony.

Below is a list of factors the court will consider in alimony decisions

  • the ability of the parties seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting;
  • the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment;
  • the standard of living that the parties established during their marriage;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each of the party to the well-being of the family;
  • the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;
  • the age of each party;
  • the physical and mental condition of each party;
  • the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony;
  • any agreement between the parties;
  • the financial needs and financial resources of each party, including:
    • all income and assets, including all property that does not produce income;
    • any monetary award concerning property and award of possession and use of the family property
    • the nature and amount of the financial obligations of each party; and
    • the right of each party to receive retirement benefits; and
  • whether the award would cause a paying spouse or a spouse who is a resident of a care facility with more than two patients to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur.

It is important to note that you cannot seek alimony after your divorce is final. If you fail to ask for alimony during your divorce proceedings, you forever waive your claim for alimony.

It is important to seek legal advice when you are contemplating divorce.

Verlene Biddings, Esquire
Law Office of Aileen Oliver
(301) 650-0078

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