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Do I have to be unemployed to get alimony in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Divorce |

The purpose of alimony or spousal support is to help a financially dependent spouse maintain a similar standard of living or help them become self-sufficient after divorce. However, this intention creates confusion as to whether the spouse requesting alimony must be unemployed to qualify for it.

Employment or lack thereof is not determinative of alimony awards

In Maryland, unemployment does not automatically qualify you for alimony. In the same way, employment is not a requirement for you to receive it. While the courts may consider this aspect during their determination, they will do so together with other available and relevant circumstances.

What the courts consider instead

When deciding on spousal support, Maryland courts consider various factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living during marriage
  • The age and health condition of each party
  • The income and overall financial situation of each party
  • The contributions of each party to the marriage
  • The capacity of each party to be self-supporting
  • Whether one party needs education to become self-supporting
  • The earning capacity of each party
  • The circumstances leading to the divorce
  • Any previous agreement covering spousal support between the parties

Though alimony obligation is difficult to assess, especially since each case is unique, these factors significantly guide courts in their determination. Nonetheless, the court has discretion to consider other factors not included in the list if it deems the same relevant to its determination.

Divorce and its aspects, including spousal support, are complex and during the process, it is common for parties to fall into confusion one way or another. If you are unsure whether you can request for alimony during your divorce, discussing your case with a compassionate legal representative may help you find clarity and solutions fit to your situation.