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How does a judge decide to award alimony?

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2021 | Family Law |

One of the things that a court might decide in a divorce in Maryland is whether a person receives alimony after the end of the marriage. As part of making this decision, the court will consider both financial and non-financial factors.

Non-financial factors that can impact the possibility of alimony

Financial assistance after divorce from one spouse to another might be necessary to maintain a certain standard of living or to help the receiving spouse as they adapt to their new single life. While spousal support deals with finances, the factors that can help a court award alimony are not all financial. Some of these non-financial factors include:

  • How long the marriage lasted and why it ended
  • Each spouse’s age and their physical and mental health
  • The non-financial contributions each person made to the family
  • Whether the receiving spouse needs additional education to get a job and how long this would take

Financial factors that can affect the court’s decision on alimony

These factors can affect the amount of alimony to be awarded. They include:

  • The paying spouse’s capabilities to cover their own financial needs while still paying alimony
  • Each spouse’s financial resources, including income, assets and property
  • Each spouse’s financial responsibilities
  • Any post or prenup agreements between the spouses

While spousal support can last for a limited time, a court might award it for an unlimited time if there are circumstances that would make it impossible for the receiving spouse to support themselves, such as illness, disability or age. Additionally, the court will assess whether the receiving spouse’s standard of living will be significantly lower even if that person has a job.

If you are going through a divorce and alimony is a concern, speaking to a family law attorney may answer some of your questions. A lawyer may also help you prepare for negotiations with your ex-spouse.


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