Some spouses following a divorce do not need alimony for more than a few years. However, circumstances might require you to receive support for much longer, perhaps for many years to come. You may wonder what Maryland law has to say about your situation.
Under state law, a judge can establish a limited time for one spouse to pay support to the other. Still, some situations could necessitate an indefinite period for alimony.
The physical condition of a spouse
Some spouses suffer from a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult to earn enough money to sustain a living. While therapy and treatment can create enough improvement for a spouse to get a better job, this is not always the case.
Additionally, the infirmities of age can limit job opportunities enough that a spouse cannot make enough money to remain independent. Basically, if there is no possibility of reversing a disability, a spouse could get indefinite alimony.
The living standards of each spouse
It may not be apparent that your physical condition will not improve. In fact, you could make some progress toward qualifying for a higher-paying job. However, there is no guarantee that you will make enough money to support a reasonable standard of living.
According to state law, a judge could determine that one spouse has completed all reasonable progress toward independence and yet an unconscionable gap remains between the living standards of both spouses. This situation may qualify the disabled spouse for an indefinite period of alimony.
Remember that state law does allow for modifications to an existing alimony order. So even if your health suddenly takes a turn for the worse, you may still be able to secure support for a longer period of time.