Divorce, particularly separation, is typically challenging. In addition to the emotional and physical challenges of moving apart, financial difficulties are common when two people no longer rely on income contribution. Alimony is a measure to help resolve financial hardship when partners divorce.
It is intended to be used as financial support from one partner to the other after separation. However, obtaining alimony is a carefully curated process, and doing it incorrectly could lead to excluding oneself from eligibility or receiving less than intended.
Here is what men should know about how to obtain alimony in Maryland, including what the court considers, the available alimony types, and when alimony payments may end.
Can Men Get Alimony in Maryland?
In short, both men and women can qualify for alimony in Maryland. Because women are more likely to stay at home with family or earn less than their male counterparts, alimony is more commonly paid by men than women. Still, men can also obtain alimony if the situation is appropriate.
A court determines eligibility for alimony, but a legal professional can help a man present a compelling case for why they qualify for alimony. Be sure to speak to a legal professional before signing any agreements or as part of separation; these agreements may be legally binding and prevent the acquisition of alimony.
How to Obtain Alimony as a Man in Maryland
Obtaining alimony in Maryland requires the same process for a man as it does for a woman. First, discuss alimony with your partner. If you can both agree, the judge can write this agreement into the court order.
However, if you cannot agree, or if there are extenuating circumstances or uncertainties, an attorney can help a man to seek alimony from his partner properly. This process must be completed before divorce proceedings conclude; after this time, alimony cannot be retroactively acquired after this time.
Next, the alimony agreement is submitted alongside other divorce proceedings. It will be included in other legal elements, such as dividing property. If no alimony agreement is submitted, the judge will have the final determination not only on whether a party receives alimony but also on how much and what type.
Determining eligibility and alimony type will require a review of case-specific details. These include how long the marriage lasted, why the separation occurs, and whether one party is financially dependent on the other. What standard of living will they afford?
The Types of Alimony Available
Alimony is available in various forms, the most common of which is rehabilitative alimony. This is meant to provide financial assistance to the lower-earning or dependent spouse immediately following separation. A temporary financial boost gives the dependent spouse time to increase their earnings and become self-sufficient.
Other types of alimony include pendente lite, which is exclusively paid between when a divorce is initially filed and when it is finalized. If partners separate immediately following divorce filing, a man who relied on his partner for income may be disadvantaged due to sudden financial instability during the divorce proceedings.
Pendente lite keeps the status quo until the divorce is finalized when the alimony payments end or may be replaced with a different type. Indefinite alimony is less common and continues with no set termination point. This most often happens if one partner cannot financially support themselves, such as in the case of a disability.
When Does Alimony End?
Alimony does not necessarily last forever. Certain types of alimony, such as pendente lite, have a defined endpoint. Others, including indefinite alimony, will end when certain conditions are met. The most common termination reason for alimony payments of any type is death; when either the recipient partner or the payor passes away, alimony ends.
The family of either party is not eligible to continue to collect or be required to pay alimony after the death of the initially involved party. Similarly, if either separated partner remarries, alimony will be terminated.
Get Help with Alimony Agreements from a Legal Professional
Alimony agreements are one of the most essential parts of a divorce. This is why partnering with an experienced legal professional is wise during this separation stage. The attorneys at SIEGELLAW can help men to get the alimony that they deserve in this challenging transition. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and begin the process of seeking alimony.