After a divorce, alimony is generally intended to provide monetary support to an ex-spouse until he or she is able to be self-supporting. In Maryland, however, there are circumstances under which a judge can award indefinite alimony in a divorce. Usually indefinite alimony is ordered if the receiving spouse is unable to support him or herself due to illness, age, or disability. Indefinite alimony may also be ordered if one spouse has a significantly greater income, and there is a vast difference in the standard of living between the two parties.
Indefinite alimony was awarded in the recent Maryland divorce case of Bryant v. Bryant. The husband’s income was roughly $1,000,000, while the wife’s was $100,000. Income disparity was not the only factor in determining alimony. Other circumstances contributed to the ruling, including Mr. Bryant’s high standard of living and evidence that Mr. Bryant’s conduct was the reason for the break-up of the marriage.
Maryland Family Court Considerations Regarding Alimony
Maryland family courts consider the ability of the parties to be either completely or partially self-supporting, and the amount of time it will take for the party to become sufficiently educated or trained to be able to find suitable employment. Courts look at the duration of the marriage and the standard of living for both parties that was established in the duration of the marriage. Monetary and non-monetary contributions that were made by both parties for the well-being of the family, as well as the factors that contributed to the marriage break up, are factored into the court’s ruling.
The court considers any agreements the parties may have previously had, in addition to the age, physical and mental health, financial needs, obligations, resources and retirement benefits of each party. Also considered is 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. Lastly, the court looks closely at the financial needs of both the payor and payee spouses.
It is possible for indefinite alimony orders to be modified, changed, or ended if either party’s circumstances change in the future.
Baltimore Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles have extensive experience with Alimony in Maryland
Baltimore divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles recognize that each divorce is unique. Our experienced Maryland family lawyers take the time to get to know each client and his or her particular circumstances, in order to provide the best legal advice for each individual situation. The Law Offices of Huesman, Jones & Miles are located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Our Baltimore divorce lawyers handle all types of family law issues for residents of Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Towson, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster, and Essex. Call 443-589-0150, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.