Posts Tagged ‘attorney’

Alimony—Not just Dollars & Cents

            Your marriage is ending in divorce.  Finances are probably at the top of your list of concerns. The cost of the divorce itself, the value of property that will be divided, child support payments—and then there is alimony. Alimony creates a legal obligation to make payments for the ongoing support of your former spouse during and following the divorce process. Unlike many of the other financial considerations involved in the termination of your marriage, there is no quick calculation that establishes a set alimony amount or duration.

            If there is any one reason to hire an attorney to help you through your divorce, alimony is that reason, and here is why:

            In Maryland, a judge may award any of four different types of alimony—temporary a.k.a. pendent lite, indefinite, rehabilitative, and permanent. These awards may last for as short a time period as the divorce litigation, until your spouse gets remarried, until your spouse can reasonably become self-supportive, or even for the rest of your former spouse’s life. 

            There is no clear-cut, simple to use, magic formula to calculate monthly alimony payments. Instead, Maryland judges and/or masters of domestic relations often take into account 22 factors—you read that right, twenty-two separate considerations—in addition to other guidelines to determine the amount and duration of an alimony award.  Twelve of these factors are codified in Section 11-106 of the Maryland Family Law Article. The other ten considerations come from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and are intended for use in conjunction with a set of mathematical equations that calculate both the amount and duration of an alimony award. Under Maryland Law, a judge must consider each of the statutory factors listed in FL Section 11-106, and may also consider the equations and factors from the AAML, what are commonly referred to as the Kaufman Guidelines, as well as any other reasonable guidelines that do not conflict the Maryland Family Law Article.

           To be blunt: Alimony determinations can affect your quality of life, for the rest of your life.  If alimony may become an issue in your divorce proceeding, and protecting your financial future is important to you, you want to consult with an expert that understands how to present your current financial situation to a judge in such a way as to protect your financial future.

This is the first in an ongoing series about Alimony. Over the coming weeks we will discuss the different kinds of alimony and the factors that judges consider in determining alimony awards. As always, we here at Delaney & Keffler, LLC will take the time to fully explain Alimony, and help you obtain beneficial information. Contact us today at 410-535-3476 (FIRM) or for a free consultation.