Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.

Do you think you can receive alimony? Here's what you should know

Alimony has been around for a very long time. If you qualify to receive this vital marital benefit, you should never feel ashamed. Even if your ex or others try their best to make you feel embarrassed about being the recipient of these payments, if a court of law approves you to receive alimony, know that you deserve it.

Alimony exists to diminish the economically destructive effects of a divorce that involves two spouses of dramatically different economic means. The idea is to assist the lower-income-earning or non-income-earning spouse to maintain the same -- or close to the same -- status of life that he or she enjoyed during marriage.

Why is it fair for an ex-spouse to financially support you?

The justification for alimony is simple, and it's very just. Imagine that you forewent the process of getting educated and having a career of your own because your spouse was earning plenty to support you, and your children could benefit from having a stay-at-home parent. This would be a considerable sacrifice on your part because -- in the event of a divorce -- you wouldn't be able to jump into a profitable career without undergoing significant training and education.

Alimony is intended to resolve this dilemma by providing a financial bridge along with sufficient time for the lower-income spouse to get the training and experience required to become financially independent. In Maryland, ex-spouses might also be able to receive permanent or indefinite alimony in rare cases -- for example, if your marriage endured for a very long time.

What do family law courts consider when deciding on alimony?

Maryland courts will consider a wide variety of factors in your alimony case depending on your unique circumstances. Generally, courts will want to know whether or not the other spouse has the financial capacity to pay you benefits. They will review the standard of life and level of luxury you and your spouse enjoyed during the course of your marriage.

Courts will examine your and your spouse's financial conditions, emotional states, physical health and ages. They'll note how long your marriage endured. The longer you were married, the more likely you can receive spousal benefits. They'll also consider how much time and money you may require for receiving sufficient training and education to become financially independent.

There's no reason to be financially devastated by divorce

Your divorce may not have to end in your financial ruin. Qualifying for alimony is one way to prevent the negative financial effects of leaving a spouse who supported you. Maryland spouses may therefore want to keep an open mind about alimony and whether they can receive this important marital benefit.

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Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.
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Catonsville, MD 21228

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